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How to manage your inner critic and stop talking yourself down?

People who are high achievers often hear their inner voice say, “Do more!”, "Stop being lazy!", "It's not good enough!".

I am very familiar with this voice.

When this voice is out of control, it talks me down so much so that I begin losing my self-confidence. Instead of serving as a driving force, it debilitates me into feeling depressed, self-conscious and unable to be my higher self.

What to do when this voice knocks you down?

One way I have managed this inner voice is to detach it from being all of me, to being one part of me.

For example, here are some parts of me:

  • Loves to talk myself down - I named it Critic

  • Loves to play and tease - I named it Playful

  • Believes in my future, in myself - I named it Faith

  • Loves to connect with others and be of service - I named Kindness

  • Pushes me through my work and exercise - I named it Discipline

Naming the different parts helps me see that I am a composition of many traits. Each trait plays a role and serves a purpose. Instead of punishing myself for having a trait, I value each trait for the purpose it serves.

Ask yourself:

  1. What benefits does your critic serve? (i.e. What benefits do you experience by talking down to yourself? )

  2. How does your critic hurt you? (i.e. What are the costs of talking down to yourself?)

  3. If you give your critic unconditional love, what would you say to it? Which trait can you call on for help?

Think about how your inner critic has helped you in your life. For me, my critic is a motivating force that pushes me towards achieving goals. At this time, my inner critic is judging me for being lazy and not writing more on my blog. This voice is pushing me to write more.

At the same time, recognize how your critic may have hindered you from your happiness. When does it go overboard? For me, when the critic’s voice is too overwhelming, it cripples me into inaction. It typically goes overboard when I receive criticism from others, or when I compare myself to others.

In these instances, I give the critic unconditional love. I say “I hear you. I know you feel lame. I hear you. I hear you.” I give it all the acknowledgement it needs, and then I say “I love you even if you are lame.”

Next, I call upon other traits for help.

  • Playful may say “Why take yourself so seriously? What can you do in this situation that will make it fun?”

  • Faith may say “Remember how many times you have grown from setbacks? Belief in yourself!”

  • Kindness may say “How can you make this not about you but about doing what serves others?”

  • Discipline may say “I’m here. Once you decide what you want to do, we’ll get it done! You know it always get easier once you get started.”

Your inner voice that talks yourself down is only one of the many voices at your disposal. No one voice is the master. You are the master.

Recognize the beauty in each voice. Be the conductor and play the music that best serves you.

More like this:

What can I do to build self-confidence?

How to believe in yourself?

Live a grade A life by getting B's

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