Samantha Babington

Life Coach and Author

Six steps to silencing the inner critic

My inner critic is at it again!

If you are anything like me, you might have over indulged a little over the Easter holidays and may well be seeing in the new week with something of a chocolate hangover!  You may even be beating yourself up over your lack of discipline and saying to yourself, ‘why did I do it?’, while weighing yourself heavily on the scales of guilt!

If so, this could well be your inner critic rising up to put a spanner in the works of your life and self-esteem!

I’m sure most of us are familiar with the critical inner voice which often takes the form of a running commentary inside our head criticising what we do or the way we do it, putting us down, unfavourably comparing ourselves to others or putting us off from taking any risks.

Ironically in the case of an over indulgent Easter, it’s often the same inner voice that initially said to us, ‘Go on.  One more piece of chocolate won’t hurt!’ before landing us with a heavy dose of self-loathing for following through on its instructions!

The trouble is, when we pay too much attention to our inner critic, it can start to strip us of our self-worth, sap our confidence and stop us from even trying to achieve the things we truly dream of doing.

So, what can we do to counteract this inner voice and learn to rise above it so we can start to take risks, be our most confident selves, get out of our comfort zone and start to take the steps towards becoming the person we were truly born to be?

1.The first step is to reframe how we think about the critical voice. If, for instance, we recognise that our inner voice keeps us stuck in our comfort zone in order to keep us safe and protect us from harm, then we can start to change our relationship with it and view it in a far more positive light. We can then thank it for trying to help us yet remind it that, in order to live a truly exciting and rewarding life, we need to take some risks and get out of the safety of our comfort zone.

2. Give your inner critic a name and visualise it as a character (such as a fairy godmother) that you can talk to. Seeing the inner critic in this way means you can start to laugh at some of the myths that it peddles rather than taking them too seriously.

3. Challenge the language used by the inner critic. For instance, if you catch yourself saying, ‘I never get things right’ then question whether you are in fact over generalising when you make this statement. Instead, think of a time or times when you did get something right and remind yourself that this statement by your inner critic is in fact untrue when it says that you ‘never’ get things right.

4. Instead of trying to drown out the voice, just observe it. Once you observe the voice rather than identifying with what it is saying, you will find that the chatter will start to dissolve all by itself. When you shine a light on the limiting beliefs coming from your inner critic, it no longer has any power over you.

5. Next, you can replace that negative chatter with positive affirmations such as ‘I can do this’, ‘I am moving towards my goals with ease’. You could even write out some of your favourite affirmations and stick them somewhere visible so you can see them every day and they can then shine brighter than the negative chatter.

6. Think about some beliefs that you need to have about yourself that will help you to gain more confidence and enable you to take the steps towards achieving your goals. For instance, if you need to believe you are a competent person then think of times in your life when you were indeed competent at something. When you do this, you automatically provide your unconscious mind with evidence that this new belief is indeed true.

So, make it your challenge today to notice your own critical inner voice and any negative ideas it puts through your mind.  Once you are aware of your inner critic, you can start to apply some of the tools above and you will notice your confidence levels start to soar!

Let me know how you get on by adding your comments below.

To your happiness, confidence and success….