Say Goodbye to Your Inner Critic

Staying ambitious without perfectionism or doubt.

GoodStudio/Shutterstock

Source: GoodStudio/Shutterstock

You know who your inner critic is. It’s the little voice inside your head that insults you and criticizes you. It seems to chime in like a rude neighbor in the movie theater, loudly chattering away at the most important parts of the film! It’s the voice that says “Ugh, why did you say that?” and replays the mistake in the conversation for hours, even days. It is also the voice that compares and despairs, reminding you that your goals feel far from reach.

The inner critic is a voice that is crafted over time—absorbed by critical caregivers, teachers, coaches, siblings, peers, or bosses. Over time, that voice sounds so much like your own. This voice, however, is not your wise voice. It’s a voice of fear and limitation.

Imagine your inner critic was a friend—and not just any friend, but a friend in your inner circle. Let’s call that friend Jill. You invite Jill to a nice lunch and to an afternoon activity. Then, imagine that all afternoon, Jill judges and criticizes. She criticizes your outfit, what you ordered for lunch, your plans for the weekend, and what you said to your boss during your review. You part ways at the end of the day feeling belittled, unworthy, incompetent, and disappointed in yourself. Do you think you would be rushing to invite Jill out to lunch again? How long do you think Jill would remain in your inner circle?

So why do we invite and permit our inner critic to linger as long as it likes? We say things to ourselves that we would never say to someone we care about. The sad thing is that we often don’t even recognize how badly we are treating ourselves—or we think it’s deserved.

Some people fear that if they quiet their inner critic, they will lose their drive. But criticism and perfectionism are not the same as ambition. Researcher and author Brené Brown says, “Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” (The Gifts of Imperfection).

As a therapist in New York City, I work with a lot of competent and accomplished individuals. While these attributes seem crystal clear to me, these same individuals have tremendous difficulty seeing those qualities in themselves. It’s easy to become stunted by hyper-focusing on the slightest flaws, rather than holding the big perspective, which recognizes progress. Your inner critic doesn’t propel your growth—it’s more like a detour sign, pointing you away from reaching your goals.

One way to quiet that inner critic is to first notice that voice that resides in yourself. You may want to label it “the critic” or give it a name. You can think of it like your playlist—and actively change the song or artist. You can get playful with this exercise, and give your inner critic a character, like Larry David or the critics from the Muppets. Once you do this, you will more easily recognize this critical voice as separate to your own and see it as unhelpful and inaccurate.

fizkes/Shutterstock

Source: fizkes/Shutterstock

Another way to soften the inner critic is to bolster your capacity for self-compassion. Self-compassion is the simple wish that we don’t suffer. Self-compassion helps us pick ourselves up after a setback and gives us the courage to be vulnerable and move toward our goals.article continues after advertisement

You may want to develop a daily meditation practice on self-compassion, often known as loving-kindness meditation. A simple google search will reveal many meditations on the subject. Christopher Germer, a psychologist and co-developer of the Mindful Self-Compassion training program, has a wonderful assortment of free downloads on his website.

Each day, you can “send” compassionate wishes to yourself, your family, your friends, and anyone you like! You simply speak, think, or write these statements. You can tailor the wish to what you or others might need most that day. Safety, health, happiness, and courage are some examples.

A simple loving-kindness meditation may sound like:

  • I wish wellness and peace for my family
  • I wish wellness and peace for my friends
  • I wish wellness and peace for my community
  • I wish wellness and peace for all beings, everywhere
  • I wish wellness and peace for myself

Self-compassion embraces the idea that you are worthy now—not when, if, or maybe—but now, just as you are. So say goodbye to the inner critic of your past and say hello to a productive, enjoyable future!

One thought on “Say Goodbye to Your Inner Critic

  • August 25, 2019 at 10:09 am
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    The Highest Critic?
    LBRC- Common Negro Press is typically a Rhetorical Buck Dance!!! 

    1. How in The Heck does #45 tell Israel to deny, discriminate, against visits by Black Duly Elected Representatives of Congress and then Israel does, akin to Jim Crow Water Fountains for Whites Only? This isn’t an emotional argument. Academic is “Real” Democracies are built on “Decent and Free Speech” (Speech and Debate Clause in U.S. Constitution in addition to Bill of Rights). “Communism” only has “1” Party and “Politburo”. It does not tolerate decent! Negro Press has to see in 2019 how “Communist China” handles decent like in Hong Kong! Where are the “Academic” Condemnations?

    2. Israeli Leaders come out of the Kinnessnet, “All Jew- ish”, mostly Askanazi! Question: If Iran is a De Facto Theocracy, then what is Israel? Duh? We just ‘askin…

    3. Read The Book of Enoch (Removed and Banned by Vatican) about NOAH, the entire story! In one Genesis in The same St. James, some animals arrived on a different day than in the 2nd Genesis? Read it!!!  Stop believing what ignorant Preacher Apostates and others say! So- called Christian Theorum to Ponder?- Satan has already declared his seat in and what was given to a “Remnant” by The Most High as “Divine” inheritance! 

    a. Joshua and Kaleb wanted to go in and take back what belonged to “The True Seed”. What’s different in 2019, where majority Negro Districts are afraid to control where they have “Majorities”. They even vote in 1st Generation Immigrants into low and high offices in districts created just for them by Ancestor Sacrifices (They’ve Voted Away Their Inheritance). Negro Coons leave schools and taxing authorities in the hands of those who plunder resources then abscond? “Scary Negroes” learn helplessness (Their  external/internal environments manifest filth (Hair, Nails, Food, Vulgar Music and Language, thoughts, jealous, envy…). 

    b. Of all Tribes, only 2 “really” believed in The Power of The Most High! Negroes in 2019 are just as afraid, even to say “Black” and instead say “People of Color”, akin to how “Pure Jews” referred to Samaritans, a “Mixed” Breed! They’re afraid! 

    c. “Prejudicial Evidence invalidates Research, Discriminating Evidence enforces validity”- When #45 discriminates against Blacks then singles ‘Dem out because they are, he validates his Racism, bias, prejudice! 

    d. In 2019 Coons Shuck and Jive then Socially Buck Dance Rhetorically and in Fact! They praise and commend evil akin to how the wicked cheered Lions eating Humans inside The Collseum as Ceasar perused faces in the crowd! None dared to “offend” Ceasar! No Negro Coon dare offend Ceasar in 2019 aka ‘Massa! Examine how they Buck Dance in his/her presence altering moods, natural dialect! Is ‘Dis ‘thang on?…

    e. The Anti- Christ will soon appear and “Blaspheme” a “Holy Seat”! #45 is behaving accordingly as per Prophesy in Scripture, in banning and discriminating against “The True Seed”!

    f. Technology is an “Inorganic tool”. Brains is Organic. Informed literate Reasoning is positive, commonly called intelligence!  Small minds are like fish beneath water, where the limits of high is where the surface begin. High thinkers excell past surfaces and beyond into the sky and on thru comprehending universes created by a Most High!!! The majority of humanity, especially Negro Coons, Politicos, Apostates see beneath surfaces and are limited in where they reside aka “Below Surfaces”!  Peace…

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