This will be our last post talking about the inner-critical voice. We will look at a few more ways to tame our inner critic and interrupt the negative and false dialogue it creates. Remember: the inner critic is a liar! We have discussed recognizing the voice, asking for evidence, and changing the language we use. We know that “listening” to the inner critic is not mental illness. We learned that our inner critic is NOT our conscience! We know that it is a collection of beliefs and labels, some we placed on ourselves but often placed upon us. Remember that there are two words most people’s inner critic use: “always” and “never.” Rational evidence tells us that rarely is anything that definitive.
We will look at a few more techniques for taming our inner critic. I will also share some book titles for further research. There are also some wonderful articles online, even courses to take. Be mindful of the source of courses, of course.
*Turning down the volume of your thoughts: think of times when you changed the environment from loud to quiet. Simply by turning down the volume of the radio in your car can create a more soothing drive, think about how that feels. Most of us have gone under water and noticed how muffled sound is. Use similar memories to consciously turn down the volume of the inner critical voice, if you cannot hear what it is saying, it cannot trigger you as much.
*Ask positive questions: when you have a negative thought from your critic ask yourself, “what pleasant things can I enjoy right now,” or ” what healthy things do I do?” The number of healthy and kind questions is unlimited. It is always a good idea to think about loved ones and pets, distraction can be so useful!
*Practice self-acceptance: when the inner critic starts nagging and sabotaging your self worth, change up the language to link it to self-acceptance. There is a technique from Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) that may short circuit debate with your inner voice. Think of something you don’t like/believe about yourself. Such as, “I always fail.” EFT suggests adding the words “Even though” and the the phrase, “I deeply and completely accept myself.” For example, “Even though I always fail, I deeply and completely accept myself.” Another useful word is “Yet.” You can switch it up by saying something like: I haven’t succeeded yet.” With practice, these techniques can modify the inner critical voice. *(Paraphrased information: https://psychcentral.com/blog/3-unique-techniques-for-navigating-a-negative-inner-voice/)
Check these titles out: Tame your Inner Critic by Della Temple, Inner Critic, Inner Success by Stacy Sargent, Embracing Your Inner Critic by Hal Stone; The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner. There are many more, enjoy the research!
Tell yourself you are wonderful, worthy, and remember: your inner critic is a LIAR!