Whether it’s after an embarrassing moment, the night before a big presentation, or in your day to day life, sometimes it can feel hard to escape from your inner critic. The voice in the back of your mind can fill you with worries and doubts, stopping you from reaching your goals or your true potential.
If you feel like your inner critic is an obstacle in the way of you progressing in your career, we’re here to help. In this blog, we’ll discuss what an inner critic is, why it matters, and three ways you can combat your critic.
What is our inner critic?
Our inner dialogue can also be referred to as ‘self-talk’. Self-talk can be both positive and negative. It’s the voice telling you that your art is bad or that you have a great proposal idea. We often call our negative self-talk our inner critic.
Why does self-talk matter?
The way we talk to ourselves is important. After all, we spend the most time with ourselves, so our thoughts can shape our perception of the world. In fact, one study even showed that when we refer to ourselves in the third-person, we have the ability to think objectively because we distance ourselves from the situation. This can help to reduce anxiety and stress in the moment.
We all know that first impressions count. But, if you’re feeling discouraged on the morning of a job interview because your inner critic tells you that you’re not up for the job, this might reflect physically in your body language and show you to be less confident because you’re distracted.
Your inner critic can have a huge impact on your professional life and career, telling you things like:
“You’re not good enough to deserve a promotion.”
“You’ve not been productive enough this week.”
“No one cares about your work.”
However, your inner critic usually doesn’t accurately reflect reality, which is why identifying, working through, and accepting these feelings can help us to be more at peace. If you have anxiety or depression, it can be common to experience overly critical self-talk and feel overwhelmed by negativity. There are ways that we can manage our inner critic and show ourselves more self-compassion.
3 ways to manage your inner critic
Whilst positive self-talk doesn’t come naturally to us all, we can all learn ways to banish negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
Be aware of your attitude
Catching yourself in a negative thought pattern can often be the first step to changing your attitude and your outlook on the situation.
So, if you find yourself thinking: “No one will pay attention to what I have to say in this meeting because what I have to say is not important,” you can try to reverse that thinking with: “My contribution to this discussion is valuable and what I have to say matters.”
Turning your inner dialogue into something constructive and uplifting can help you to see the positive in situations.
Have a conversation with your critic
This could be in your head or on paper in your journal. Use this as a way to address what your inner critic is saying to you and get to the bottom of where these thoughts are coming from. For example, is this part of a deeper problem that you should get to the root of? You could even give them a name or imagine them as a character as a way of distancing yourself from it.
Focus on your good qualities
Ultimately, shifting your focus to the positive things in your life, as well as your successes and achievements, can help to leave less room for any negative thoughts. Our blog on savouring shows you how to live a happier life by embracing your positive experiences.
Say goodbye to your inner critic
Do you find that you’re constantly dwelling on your failings and would like to learn how to treat yourself with more self-compassion?
In our course ‘How to overcome self-attacking’, you’ll learn methods of managing your harsh inner critic and improve your mental wellbeing. You’ll be introduced to self-reassurance techniques that will help you feel safe and protected. Over time, you’ll be able to accept negative feelings and thoughts and extend more warmth towards yourself.