5 steps to silence your Inner Critic
When I started along the path of creating life by my own design, one of the first actions I took was to start witnessing my thoughts. I'm a firm believer that what we think about is what becomes our reality. To be honest, I was shocked at what came up for me... the dialogue I was experiencing internally was awful. I was saying things to myself, that I would never consider saying to someone else.
"You're so stupid"
"Who are you to think you can have/do/be that?"
"You're not good enough for them, they'll leave you"
And on and on.
Those negative thoughts can quickly turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your thoughts greatly influence how you feel and the action you take, so negative self-talk can lead to self-sabotage and destruction. The good news is that it is possible to change your thoughts and silence your inner critic.
Today I'm sharing 5 tips to silence your inner critic and start cultivating a positive inner dialogue.
1. Get intimate with your thoughts
So often, the stories we tell ourself are so ingrained in our way of thinking, that we don't even realise what we are telling ourselves. Bringing awareness to our inner dialogue and witnessing the stories we are telling ourselves, helps us to explore how our thoughts are holding us back.
2. Find evidence
Once you are aware of your negative thought patterns, start to gather evidence that supports and refutes the thought. When you do this, you remove the power from the thought which allows you to look at the situation more rationally.
Start keeping a 'goodness folder'. It might be a folder on your desktop or a physical file, but start gathering and saving evidence that supports a new positive way of thinking about yourself. For example, you might want to print out thank you emails from your clients or screenshot nice comments you receive on social media or your blog.
When you find yourself stuck in negative self-talk, break out the folder.
3. Visualise your inner critic (or name them)
The real power comes from understanding that we are not our thoughts. Look at it this way - the very fact you can hear and observe your thoughts means that you are outside of them. When we begin to understand this, we realise we can directly choose what we think about.
One way to separate yourself from your negative internal dialogue, is to visualise your inner critic as a person. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Now imagine your inner critic is standing before you... what does she/he look like? What is their energy like? How do you feel in their presence? How do you feel towards them?
You can even take this a step further and name your inner critic... just be sure to choose a name that isn't connected to someone in your life.
4. End each day with a celebration
It's super easy to fixate on the mistakes we make or things we didn't do well, but how often do we take the time to acknowledge the things we make a success of?
Make it a habit to congratulate yourself for at least one thing, every single day. Make a ritual of it - you could pour a cup of your favourite tea and sip it whilst journalling about one thing you can acknowledge yourself for.
5. Forgive yourself
Have you ever noticed how we can hold onto past mistakes? I know I held onto some of mine for years! The truth is, forgiving ourselves is often much harder than forgiving others. When you're carrying around blame and judgment for something that has happened in the past, this bundle of negative energy can burrow itself deep. The result is a heap of self-criticism and destruction. Forgiving yourself is an important act of moving forward and releasing yourself from the past.
It's important to remember that changing the way we think about ourselves, and the stories we tell ourselves, doesn't happen overnight. This is a continual process, which often needs repeating on a daily basis. Take time to check-in with yourself regularly to witness what you are telling yourself.
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