Hello and welcome to “Shut Up Your Inner Critic: a 30-Day Challenge to Get Over Self-Doubt.” Chances are good you have some idea about what an inner critic is. Most of us deal with this nagging inner voice that often keeps us from living up to our potential. However, each person’s inner critic is different. Therefore, overcoming its effects must be customized. Let’s begin by exploring just what an inner critic is and how to recognize it. Then, we’ll touch upon a few ways you can tackle yours. As we continue our month-long journey, you’ll discover much more in-depth information about this all-too-common problem and how to deal with it for good.
About Your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is the dialogue that plays in your head, sending you negative messages that can sabotage your success. Our thoughts and feelings are deeply connected. When you send yourself negative messages, it leads to emotions such as insecurity and sadness. These feelings often send an unintended message to the world, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we tell ourselves something long enough, we’re likely to live that message. Fortunately, the same can be true for positive messages.
How to Recognize It
Being critical of ourselves is a common human trait. It’s just easier to see the negative in ourselves over our own shining strengths. Fortunately, with some education and introspection, you can learn to recognize your own self-defeating thoughts. This insight is the key to managing and overcoming them. Try to pay closer attention to your inner ramblings. Remind yourself that just because you think it doesn’t make it true. Write down patterns you notice, as this will help you to better determine which ideas are most harmful to your well-being and which messages should be addressed.
Ways to Tame It
Make a real attempt to stop re-playing events over and over in your mind when you’ve had a bad day or regret something that has happened. This only intensifies the unproductive cycle. Instead, try to find active solutions to the issues you’re facing. Consider what advice you’d give to a friend. Allow yourself the same kindness and generosity. Look for evidence to contradict the bad messages and then re-frame the negative things you’re telling yourself into more realistic messages. Finally, consider the worst-case scenario. In most situations, it’s not nearly as bad as you perceve it to be. It’s certainly not the end of the world, and you can usually overcome such results. This should give you the confidence to push fear and doubt aside to move forward toward your goals.
Keep this introduction to self-criticism in mind as you move forward throughout the challenge. We’ll build on this information to help you understand and battle your own inner critic more productively.