Reduce your Critical Inner Voice: 3 Easy Ways to Silence this Critic
It’s my inner voice telling me that I should pursue this. I love the way I feel when I pick up this camera. The lens beckons me to discover new subjects and highlight compositions that tell a story. I’m not trained, but I know I have an eye for detail. I love the feeling of composing the right frame and clicking the moment to capture it forever. Photography puts me at ease, giving me the freedom to create images that can convey multiple things. But, even as I find appreciation, I now hear the critical inner voice. It’s back.
It’s awake now. All awake. Mocking me. Ridiculing me. It tells me that this is of no use. I won’t be good at it. It tells me people are laughing at me. It shows its insensitive side. Like a negative force, it sucks away all my energy. I wonder if I will ever find success. This inner voice often praises me but also turns critical to break me. It breaks me more often than I can handle. It tempts me to doubt myself. I now end up placing the camera back in the dusty bag. As always...
Are you critical about yourself? You are not alone here. When you listen to your inner voice, it can be empowering. When this inner voice turns critical, you tend to lose your confidence, focus, and the motivation to live your life on your terms.
What is the Critical Inner Voice?
This inner critic resides within all of us. Every person responds to it in a different manner. If you’re hearing inner voices that often pull you down, it’s time to make a change.
“You are not good enough”
“You’re too fat or you’re too thin”
“You can never do anything right”
“You can never attract the right person”
Ever heard this before? Your critical inner voice is heavily influenced by messages we have been given as children. We interpret things from what we are told by our parents, guardians, and family members.
The battle in our minds lies between listening to the inner voice that we need to hear and the one we have to avoid
A person who is constantly told he/she is not good enough grows up criticizing the self. This critical inner voice has a hold over us and it makes us feel the shame, guilt, or fear to be our own selves. This voice stands guard preventing us from developing our inner strength and chasing our dreams
For e.g.: a student who is under tremendous pressure to obtain high grades may find it difficult to express himself/herself due to this critical inner voice. The student often feels stifled with the inability to express emotions leading to anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. This critical inner voice gets the fuel from what the child has grown up listening to. “Study well or you may fail,” “You are bound to fail in life if you don’t score high” and such other thoughts.
Connecting with the Inner Voice
The inner voice has always been there with you. This is connected to your gut feeling and your intuition. You know your inner voice connects with you when you feel something amiss about a situation. It can also guide you towards success by gently telling you the path you have to take. You can feel it within you and it is useful for understanding the self, plan your life better, build self-image, and take critical decisions. This has always been with you, even before you learned to speak or think. Over the years, this voice is often drowned out as the critical voice takes over the thought processes. This critical voice is fed with thoughts by people who surround us. Paying attention to the inner voice and nurturing good thoughts is necessary to connect with your intuition that indicates the path through the pure use of the senses.
How to Reduce the Inner Critic and Listen to your Inner Voice
The battle in our minds lies between listening to the inner voice that we need to hear and the one we have to avoid. First, we’ll deal with silencing the inner critic using these easy ways as shared by Dr. Paras, Life Leadership Coach.
1) Identify this Inner Critic
Every time the critical inner voice talks to you, begin to identify and compartmentalize this voice. Remind yourself this is the inner critic talking and this judge is going to instill fear and anxiety. This is just a voice, and it is not an accurate representation of reality. This can be a culmination of what has been told to you by your parents or teachers, and not what will necessarily happen to you. Learn to develop an awareness of your thoughts by practicing mindfulness daily. You’ll soon notice what you need to hear and what should be discarded.
2) Empathize towards the Self
Instead of blocking your thoughts about the inner critic, learn to empathize with the voice. Tell yourself, “I understand you are worried about the project and you have self-doubts. I know you are trying to protect me from hurt. But, I know I can succeed if you can be more positive in your approach.” The inner critic often prevents you from trying something new. However, developing a sense of empathy towards the self and replacing this fear with hope and optimism while caring for your inner voice will help you find more clarity in life.
3) Rewrite the Sentences
Every time your critical inner voice pulls you down, remember to rewrite these sentences in the mind. The exercise may be a tough one to begin with, but practice will make you perfect. When you feel that “I may not be able to do this,” replace it with, “I will attempt it this time. I may even do really well and if I don’t, I will try again later.” Every time you find a critical inner voice getting louder within, remember to tweak the sentences, take a deep breath, and put your best foot forward.
Is the Inner Voice always Critical?
No, absolutely not! Your inner voice has always been guiding you even before you could connect with the rest of the world. The inner voice indicates what is right and what is wrong in any situation. For e.g.: You’ll know if the new project is good for you as your inner voice will gently push you towards that direction. It’s like knowing something through your pure intuition and you’ll soon begin to listen to this inner voice that is guiding you, helping you, and is there for you all the time.
How to Start Listening to the Inner Voice that Empowers?
It’s not going to happen in a day. For some, this inner voice has always been there. Because they have chosen to listen to the right voice without feeding the critical inner voice. As Coach Dr. Paras recommends, you need to practice mindfulness and meditation on a daily basis. You’ll soon find yourself inching closer to the inner voice that acts as a true friend in every situation of life.
Download the Mindfulness Practitioner App to access free meditations
With regular mindfulness practice, you’ll soon learn to recognize and identify the difference in these inner voices. You will automatically tune in and drown the critical inner voice and open up to that inner voice that has been stifled all the while. Now that you have found the connect, your inner voice will inspire and empower you to transform your life. You’ll notice you bring more prosperity and joy and your fears will melt away.
You might also notice the inner voice guides you to take an unknown path. Do not be afraid, let the inner voice guide you to make choices that are best for you. Regular practice and discipline will connect you to your inner voice making you stronger and bolder with your choices in life.
Activate the power to listen to your inner voice:
- Practice mindfulness
- Meditate daily
- Eat healthy
- Exercise regularly
- Read books that add more to your knowledge
- Work on your passions
The critical inner voice is that nagging companion you have given space inside your mind. The good news is, this companion is just a temporary guest and you can certainly end the journey by giving space for thoughts that you need to cultivate for an empowered life.
If you are looking to conquer your critical inner voice and need professional help to silence the inner critic, do read about our mindfulness retreats designed to embark you on a new life. You can also access our free meditation sessions by Dr. Paras by downloading the Mindfulness Practitioner App, now!