What You Can Do To Silence Your Inner Critic
Have you ever bought yourself a new outfit, put it on and stood in the mirror, only to start mentally picking apart what you’re wearing to the point where you didn’t feel comfortable wearing it?
That is your inner critic coming out. You might be feeling a bit vulnerable because you’re wearing something new and you’re not sure if it feels right. So your inner critic starts to jump in and agree — it tells you that maybe the outfit isn’t right. And nothing else you have is either! In fact, maybe you just should stay home tonight?
If you’ve ever had this little voice pop up in your head, then this blog is a must-read. Today, I’m talking about your inner critic and what you can do to silence it.
Who, or what, is your inner critic?
We all have an inner critic. It’s that voice in your mind that gives an opinion on everything. It can be a bit anxious, demanding, judgemental, and sometimes even disapproving.
Your inner critic is almost like a basic safety instinct, designed to protect you from potential harm. The trouble is, sometimes your inner critic can be a little too over-protective. In trying to protect you from embarrassing or difficult situations, your inner critic might talk you into not being a part of them in the first place.
The other problem with your inner critic is it often shows up when you’re already feeling vulnerable. After a mistake, when you are wondering if you made the wrong choice, you can bet your inner critic is nearby to add fuel to the fire of self-doubt.
Now, while this sounds really negative, it is important to remember that your inner voice and thoughts don’t all come from your critic. There is also a more positive, nurturing and motivating side to your inner voice — and there are ways to bring the two sides into balance.
What can you do to silence your inner critic?
Here’s how you can understand your inner critic and help manage the thoughts that it brings with it!
Take notice of the critic
You may be allowing your inner critic to take over, without even realising it. Sometimes the thought just pops up in your head that you want to take a night off from your workout — then the next minute your inner critic is pointing out that you can’t stick to a workout routine. Next thing you know, you’ve completely lost the motivation to work out at all.
Start taking notice of these thoughts and acknowledge them as what they are — thoughts. Just because you think them doesn’t mean they are true and it definitely doesn’t mean you are powerless to stop them. Once you recognise this negativity as a thought, rather than a fact, it becomes easier to break down the power of your inner critic.
Be more compassionate
When those thoughts of self-doubt start to creep in and your inner critic arises, try being more compassionate with yourself. Respond to the thoughts of your inner critic in the same way you would talk to a friend — acknowledge you have fears but remind yourself that you are strong enough to face them.
In the same way that self-talk can help you develop a more positive mindset, responding to inner critic thoughts with more compassion can help you to feel more confident in taking on new challenges.
Challenge your inner critic
Rather than trying to ignore your inner critic, start challenging it. If your critic is telling you that it’s impossible for you to stick to your new workout routine, think about other habits that you have been able to stick to. If it helps, try writing down some of your personal strengths that you can channel to help you follow through with your routine.
Your inner critic wants to protect you from failure, so remind yourself that you have the strength and discipline to make lifestyle changes. Be rational — sometimes your inner critic plays a bit dirty by targeting your emotions. Remind yourself that nothing is perfect! After all, what’s the issue if getting into a workout routine takes a few tries?
Understanding your inner critic
Ladies, remember that everyone has a bad day at some point and we ALL make mistakes. While your inner critic can sometimes blow these mistakes out of proportion, hopefully this blog can help you control those thoughts. It might take a little while to silence your inner critic and to start listening to your self-nurturing side but you will definitely notice a difference in your confidence if you do.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.