How to Silence your inner critic
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
On a positive end an individual’s inner critic can be a motivating force that pushes him to work harder and achieve success,but the problem with the inner critic is that it’s a negative voice that is connected to fear. Rather than being motivated by fear – that you’re not good enough, that you’re going to fail, or that you’re going to be judged by others.
For a lot of people, that inner critic is like an ongoing background music and they don’t even know that.Throughout the day, take a break to notice whether your inner critic is speaking to you. If you are into a meeting and begin to feel anxious, your palms sweat and your stomach knots up, ask yourself what’s causing these emotions.
Monitor your thoughts
Pen down your self-critical judgments — I’m a loser, I’m dumb, I’m not beautiful — in a diary or a personal-digital assistant ,this is the first step to mastering them. That process alone may decrease the intensity and frequency. Also note down the circumstances in which these feelings occur and see if you can spot patterns.
Evaluate your judgments
Define your terms and examine whether your standards are arbitrary or fair. If you think you’re a “bad person,” are you a bad person all the time? Are there times when you are adequate?
Collect objective data
Challenge negative thoughts with true facts. Keep a small list of your achievements on a note book and pull it out when your self-criticism threatens to overwhelm you. Or look back at your own CV and recapitulate what you’ve accomplished. This will relax your inner critic and you feel positive. Focus on your achievements.
When you make a mistake or you’ve had a bad day, you may be tempted to re-play the events over and over in your head. But, repeatedly reminding yourself of that embarrassing thing you did, or that questionable thing you said, will only make you feel worse and it won’t solve the problem.
When you find yourself ruminating – and not actively problem-solving – don’t waste time telling yourself, “Don’t think about that.” The more you try to avoid thinking about something, the more you’re likely to focus on it. Instead, distract yourself with an activity – like going for a walk, organizing your desk, or talking about a completely different subject – and stop the critical thoughts before they spiral out of control.
Examine the evidence.
Learn to recognize when your critical thoughts are exaggeratedly negative. If you think, “I’m never going to be able to quit my job and run my own business,” examine the evidence that supports and refutes this prediction. Sometimes it’s helpful to write
it down. Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On one side, list all the evidence that supports your thought. On other side, write down all the evidence to the contrary. Looking at evidence on both sides of the argument can help you look at the situation more rationally and less emotionally.
Replace overly critical thoughts with more accurate statements.
Convert an overly pessimistic thought to a more rational and realistic statement. When you find yourself thinking, “I never do anything right,” replace it with a balanced statement like, “Sometimes I do things really well and sometimes I don’t.” Each time you find yourself thinking an exaggeratedly negative thought, respond with the more accurate statement.