Everyone knows the critical inner voice that tells you “I can’t do this” or “I’m not ready now” and other things that may be powerful hindrances on your way to success and happiness. What can you do to stop these thoughts?
I’d like to show you how to cause an immediate shift of perspective and help you to deal effectively with this ‘Inner Critic’.
First of all: never forget that a thought is just a thought!
You always have the power to look at a thought as a mental process, it’s not more and not less! And depending on your habits, the degree of your self-awareness and how calm your mind is you can immediately let go of a thought.
Now, I know from my own experience that this sometimes works quite easily and at other times it’s trickier to deal with. I just wanted to stress to never forget this simple and first truth: you – and you alone – decide, if you believe what you think and if you act upon it!
How your Inner Critic ‘makes you feel’
Thoughts lead to feelings. Often, there are various degrees of anger, sadness and fear associated with thoughts insinuated by our Inner Critic. As a result, we focus more on traits of us we reject and don’t like.
All these thoughts and feelings are nurtured and influenced by our (habitual conscious and unconscious) attitudes and believes and they impact our mental, emotional and physical states.
Trying to ignore or to suppress this inner critical voice may be possible in some situations, but in the long run, this approach doesn’t work! You need to learn to FEEL the feelings, this is always the first step to take.
3 ways to stop the Inner Critic
Ask the magic question: What would I enjoy doing today?
Many women I know and worked with had to unlearn the habit of always putting others’ needs first and learn to make time for their needs and wishes daily. It may sound ‘egoistic’ or ‘indulgent’ to some of you to ask this; no worries: trust me it gets easier – and more fun – with practice. If you find it hard to figure out what activities would bring you joy use the tool in this article: Why I blow bubbles and fly on swings
Be happy now
If you know what makes you happy you can immediately shift your focus from listening to this voice (or worse: believing it) to actively using your body language and thinking about things that make you feel well, worthy, strong or whatever you need to counterbalance the nagging and destructive voice. Do you not know how this works? Check this out 😉
Become your own best friend
Learn to listen. Get in touch with the wise, kind and caring women inside you. Learn more about this way of dealing with the Inner Critic in my next post: the monsters living in our head – and find out what they want to tell you…
Thanks for leaving a comment and telling me, if one of the strategies resonates and what works for you.
This article was first published in 2014 and last updated in January 2023.
- How to Stop your Inner Critic – Part 1 - 11/01/2023
- How you can achieve holistic happiness - 19/03/2022
- The Secret to Mutually Nurturing Relationships - 19/09/2021
on 17/10/2014 at 21:24
Great post Patricia,
I love ‘a thought is just a thought’ we forget this so often and are often most unfairly our worst critic.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope it will make a little difference for you in the future recognising your thought as mere thought.
Patricia Mauerhofer recently posted…How to Stop your Inner Critic – Part 1
I read part 2 ahead of part 1 but it all makes perfect sense. I like that a thought is just a thought and can be pushed aside and replaced in a minute. Will keep this in mind. Thank you.
Haha and I read your first comment before this one, too. This really is powerful. And when times get tough a little distraction by listening to a song from the Muppets or Peanuts can do the job effectively instead. Happy weekend Nicole
Patricia Mauerhofer recently posted…Life lessons by Fozzie Bear and Charlie Brown (29/30)