“You are not capable of doing this!”
“There is always a person who can perform this task better than you!”
“You should follow their principles to become successful, as they are more compatible than you!”
“You should not take risks as you cannot handle the failure!”
“You do not deserve to get this opportunity!”
And many more!!!!!
Ever heard these statements in silence?
Ever felt that there is someone inside you who is ruling your mind and giving you negative comments about yourself?
Ever recognised that there is an invisible inner voice that is there to judge you at every parameter of life?
This phenomenon is known as INNER CRITIC. The ‘Inner Critic’ or ‘Critical Inner Voice’ is a concept that judges or demeans a person. It is generally experienced when your inner voice attacks you and makes you realize that you are bad, wrong, not competent enough, worthless, guilty, etc. The worst part of mishandling Inner Critic is, it produces a feeling of shame, low self-esteem, deficiency, which will ultimately lead to stress that will end up landing you into depression.
In this era of fast-growing competition, there is always pressure of being better. We compare ourselves to find our lacking areas and try to rectify and improve ourselves. In such a process, it is obvious that sometimes our inner critic rules our mind. We cannot nullify the effect of our inner critic, but we can tame that inner voice of judgement and fear. Following are some self-help practices to tame your inner critic.
1. Counter your inner critic by replacing the negative thoughts with thoughtful advice.
Instead of saying ‘I make too many mistakes, try to state ‘I learn and evolve from my mistakes towards a better version of me’. Try to pen down every negative thought from daily life and replace them with meaningful suggestions and advice.
2. Embrace your imperfection and learn the art of ‘Continuous Learning’.
Accept the fact that nobody in this world is perfect. But everyone has the same opportunity to improve and succeed. Make learning a passion. The day you stop learning is equivalent to the day you end your life. Instead of watching someone as an expert, try to see them when they were also beginners. The continuous practice had given them the honour of being ‘experts’. So instead of getting the tag of ‘perfectionist’, try to develop an image of ‘Continuous Learner’.
3. Find your ‘Partner in Crime’.
Nobody is alone on this planet. Remember that you are a part of this giant whole. So find that one person who can listen to all your odds and still remind and praise you for that one of your qualities which will ignite your spirit to jump ahead. Have that one friend or family member who knows your weakness, but still respect them. Reward yourself with that one person who can hear your pain just by looking at your eyes.
4. Avoid ruminating your thoughts.
Have you ever observed how cows eat their food? They ruminate; which means to chew again over and over. We need to avoid this pattern of thinking, again and again, the same thing, specifically if there is something negative about that subject. When anything bad happens to you, your mind pushes you to replay the events and feel guilty about your action. But repeatedly recalling what happened will never change the fact. Instead, by the passage of time, remembering the past actions, again and again, will increase the intensity of sadness in your mind.
Now how to stop ruminating about bad thoughts? The more you try to ignore it, the more your mind will get tempted towards it. So, try to distract your mind from the current state. Do something which is completely incomparable from the previous action. For example, if you have committed a mistake, instead of thinking about the aftermath consequences, do something different. Go for a walk, try to arrange your shelf, do some household chores, listen to motivating music, etc. These practices will not only divert your mind but also help you in charging your mind with positive thoughts.
5. Practice the art of journaling.
Writing diaries has always proven to be a part of self-healing. Sometimes it is difficult to speak what is going on in our mind, but papers are much easier to express our emotions. They neither judge us nor do they laugh at our sentiments. Take a pen and paper, have a cup-a-coffee and start moving your hand in those white sheets. Going down the lane, you will experience some aspects which were never discovered. Maybe, you fell in love with your hand-writing again; some memories will roll down tears from your eyes, but some will make you laugh till you feel that pain in your stomach. Therefore, make writing your habit and enjoy the art of personal journaling.
The inner critic is always going to live with us. The only thing we can do is to not to allow it to enslave our mind and entangle our life in our own insecurities. Through advice, learning, talking, avoiding negativity and journaling, we can teach our mind to control our inner critic. Practising meditation and mindfulness will also help in regulating your mind towards positivity.
Therefore, enjoy and explore the art of taming your inner critic via these self healing practices.