Our inner critics act up at different times. For some, it’s when they look in the mirror or try on new clothes. For others, it’s during a time when they need to perform at their best—like during a project or presentation.
There can be a time and place for criticism. But when you’re in the middle of a demonstration or a speech, it’s far from helpful. It can stop you in your tracks and slow your progress.
That voice in your head can put a standstill on your creativity. Your hand may freeze on the page as you worry that what you’re about to write, paint, or draw won’t be good enough.
When you recognize your inner critic, you can distinguish harmful thoughts from helpful ones. Putting distance between yourself and that voice can help you push past self-doubt.
Here’s how you can stand up for yourself and reaffirm your value in the fact of criticism:
Talk Back To Your Inner Critic
We know that the idea of “talking back” to yourself might sound strange. But opposing your inner critic and discrediting it helps you regain control of your thoughts.
Being conscious of negative thoughts as they arise can help you see them for what they are. One way to counteract a negative feedback loop is to oppose it with love and kindness. Inner critic: meet mindfulness. Use mindfulness to dismiss the critiques that prevent you from moving forward.
You might be familiar with any of the following thoughts:
- “You aren’t good enough.”
- “You don’t deserve what you have.”
- “Other people can do this better.”
Rather than accept these thoughts as truths, you can recognize them as the voice of your inner critic. They don’t hold weight—they only serve to hold you back. Be mindful of where your thoughts come from, and treat yourself with kindness instead of criticism.
Do Things That Amplify Your Confidence
Try to think back to a time when you felt like you were on top of the world. What were you doing? Were you with someone who made you feel like you could truly be yourself?
Make an effort to spend more time with people who lift you up, instead of those who drag you down. If a certain hobby enables you to feel confident (like doing something creative, practicing your talents, or journaling your thoughts), then set aside the time for it.
The inner critic rarely serves to benefit us. Instead, it dismisses our accomplishments, downplays our strengths, and emphasizes our perceived weaknesses. None of these are helpful. Instead, it’s more beneficial to let go of your mistakes. Show yourself forgiveness for the times you may have come up short.
Avoid Making Comparisons
Oftentimes, our tendency to doubt our potential comes from what we see others doing. When you live your life in comparison to others, it’s difficult to find any satisfaction. We’ll never live up to the ideas in our heads. While another person’s life might seem perfect on paper, everyone deals with their own flaws and challenges.
When you catch yourself listening to your inner critic, remind yourself that you exist in your own right. You don’t need to live in comparison to others.
From our team at Bare Body Sugaring in Winnipeg, we hope that identifying your inner critic helps you treat yourself with more care.