According to research, we have anywhere between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. If you’re a person of habit like 98.9% of us are, you tend to have some of the same reoccurring thoughts every day. So the reality is that if we have the same thoughts over and over, how do we shift to a higher state of being to weed out the constant negativity, self-doubt, or criticism?
Where did this come from?
For many of us, we would love to live in a world where we have control over our inner critic and how it affects us. It can seem impossible, but with consistent and mindful practice, we can make it happen. The first step is to get clear on where our self-criticism/doubt comes from. If you think about how we all think and act, our habits and behaviors stem from our childhood. What back then seemed like “small” comments from our peers, family members, teachers and friends when we were children, eventually added up. I’m sure as kids, we’ve experienced some comments talking about the way we dress or how we sound when we sing or talk, or an adult telling us we’re not good at something. You mix that in with everyday life and some possible traumatic experiences, and an inner gremlin is now born.
This gremlin is our inner critic or voice of judgment (VOJ) that seems like it never shuts up. It’s the same gremlin that tells us, “we’re not good enough, you’re stupid, you don’t deserve something,” or whatever the negative thoughts may be. When we choose to believe these things, it invokes emotions of it being a true, which in the end attracts situations that confirms these thoughts we choose to believe.
The purpose of understanding this inner critic that we hear daily isn’t our true authentic self speaking. This is our VOJ. When we learn how to separate our VOJ from our voice of wisdom (VOW), aka our intuition/higher conscious self, we then can make positive changes.
Now that we know that our VOJ isn’t our true authentic self, it only makes sense to separate it from our VOW. The first step to identifying this inner gremlin is literally drawing it out on paper. This doesn’t have to be a Picasso, but feel free to get as creative as you like. Next, name your gremlin anything you want that isn’t your own name or nickname. Remember this isn’t the true you, it’s your critic. Once that’s done, write out three negative things your gremlin constantly says to you. If you want to overcome a current situation, I would suggest writing out three negative things your gremlin says to you about the situation. Finally, hang this up somewhere you will see your drawing CONSISTENTLY so you can be reminded that the inner critic isn’t true, its simply just your VOJ.
Now that you understand where our inner critic or judgment of self comes from and what this voice is capable of saying, it’s imperative to learn how to silence it. We know this gremlin’s job is to make you feel crappy, miserable, worried or fearful, so why listen? One way to combat the VOJ is by practicing reverse psychology. So when you feel yourself thinking you’re not good enough, or you’ll never have peace, or people won’t accept you, replace that thought with something more positive and beneficial. Think of this like a tennis match; for every negative thing your VOJ says, find a positive thing to say and believe it. You owe that to yourself!
Extra Tools to silence the inner critic
*Create affirmations that speak self-love, self-respect and appreciation for oneself. I always tell my clients and students to start their affirmations with “I am” or “I have” because that is speaking in the present moment, aka the now.
*Practice mirror work for a positive self esteem boost. Every day, look yourself in the mirror directly into your eyes and say aloud “_____(your name), I love you just the way you are.”
*Journal about your strengths and what value you add to the world.
*Give yourself freedom and room to make mistakes. Everyone makes them and that’s OK. Next time, just try to do better.
Remember your inner critic is only as loud as you want it to be. With consistent practice you can tone down the VOJ & use your VOW more often.
Quote of the month:
Celebrate your personal strengths to silence your inner critic. –Unknown
Affirmation of the month:
I am allowing myself to celebrate my positive strengths!