3 Helpful Strategies to Tackle Your Inner Critic
Psychological well-being is determined by how we behave but also how we talk to ourselves. For many of us, we would never speak to anyone the way we talk to ourselves, because it’s too mean.
As humans, we are ‘programmed’ to be negative. In that, we have what is called a ‘negative bias.’ This means that we are quite literally tuned in to see the negative in a situation, it also means that we are more likely to remember negative feedback, as opposed to positive. How many of us have walked about from a review meeting at work, or a parent-teacher interview, and can only remember the criticism and not all the compliments?
This means that it’s incredibly hard for us to ignore our inner critic, it’s biological. Do not despair, there is hope! There are a number of successful strategies that can be used to support the promotion of positive self-talk and the management of your inner critic.
So what can you do?
Look for Evidence – Your inner critic often likes to tell you everything you’re doing wrong and how you are the ‘worst’ at something. It can be helpful to ask yourself, how much evidence do I have to prove this thought is true? - Do none of my friends like me? Or am I just worried because they haven’t replied straight away? This can be a helpful strategy to engage you logical self-talk and not your emotional voice.
Find Your ‘Guru’ Voice – As your inner critic likes to highlight everything you’re doing that is wrong, it can be helpful to develop an alternative positive, encouraging, voice. Your Guru voice can be that person in your life who is encouraging and supportive. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by your inner critic is might be helpful to image what they might say to you.
Ground Yourself - Finally, when we start to feel overwhelmed by our inner critic, we can start to feel distressed or anxious. Try digging your feet into the ground and taking three deep breaths, connect in with your body and notice the room around you. This can help calm your body and your mind so that you can respond calmly to yourself.
At Piece by Piece Therapies we want to support people to feel more in charge of their thinking and confident to manage their negative thoughts.
If you would like to talk about your inner critic and how to manage it, or, learn more about the above strategies, click the button below to get in touch.