7 Ways to Transform Your Inner Critic

You can transform your inner voice and be your own cheerleader!

Transform your inner critic into an inner cheerleader.

 (Benjavisa Ruangvaree Art / Shutterstock.com)

Everyone has an inner dialogue, it’s the voice inside observing the world around you. That inner voice can be a great source of empowerment and positivity. But sometimes, people develop patterns of self-doubt. When negative self-talk gets in the way of living the life you want, it’s time to learn how to transform your inner critic and become your own cheerleader.

With the right approaches, you can reverse the cycle of limited thinking and transform your inner critic. Try these seven methods to develop more positive thought patterns.

Respond to your inner critic, like a friend

Clinical psychologist and founder of the Social Confidence Center, Dr. Aziz Gazipura knows first-hand the difficulty of overcoming that inner critic. In his younger years, he often grappled with social anxiety and shyness. That’s until he decided to face down his inner critic and take back control of his life.

In his book, On My Own Side: Transforming Self-Criticism and Doubt Into Permanent Self-Worth and Confidence, Gazipura discusses ways to manage your inner critic. His experience taught him to nurture a relationship with yourself. When negative thoughts come up, take a moment to respond to self-criticism like you would with a friend. 

When you have thoughts  like “I’m not good enough” or “No one likes me.” Think about what you would say to a friend who spoke that way? Be your own cheerleader! Give yourself a few words of encouragement. When you develop this habit, you start to diminish the power of your inner critic. Instead, you create a new more positive way of thinking, shifting from saboteur to supporter. 

Recognize patterns of negative self-talk
Understanding the patterns and causes of self-doubt can help develop healthier ways of thinking. Spend the next couple of weeks learning to recognize what negative thought patterns are and how you trigger them.

What do you find? Can you think of toxic people in your past that may have created these patterns of self-doubt? When you feel those situations trigger your inner critic, take a step back. Try to focus on what you need to change, focus on positive thoughts and surround yourself with positive people according to Mayo Clinic News

Meditation allows you to pause for a moment and observe thoughts as they arise without judgement. Bring awareness to a thought for a moment. This releases some of the thought’s power and opens a space to relax, rather than react and become overwhelmed. 

Practice positive affirmations
Affirmations are positive statements that help inspire confidence. Focus on an area of your life that triggers anxiety. Then develop an affirmation and repeat it to yourself three times each day. For example, let’s say you feel uncomfortable in group settings. Your affirmation could be: “I feel confident and at ease around other people.” This will help rewrite your inner dialogue and shift to feeling more empowered. 

Walk away from naysayers
Naysayers will only fuel your inner critic. They say things like, “What happens if you fail?” or “That sounds impossible”. Take inventory of your relationships. Can you think of people that always tend to shoot down your dreams? Walk away. Instead, surround yourself with people who lift you up.

Practice self-compassion
Develop a habit of self-compassion, to remind yourself that you deserve love and support. Psychologist Tara Brach recommends the RAIN practice. It’s an easy-to-remember acronym for self-compassion: Recognize what you feel. Allow yourself to feel. Investigate what you feel. Nurture yourself with self-compassion. 

Change the script
Often patterns of self-criticism start from a young age. An overbearing parent or a bully at school may have caused you to doubt yourself. You internalize their words into your own inner dialogue, without even realizing it. To reverse this habit, and developmental strength according to Psychology Today, you have to be aware of your inner dialogue. Change the script and say a few words of encouragement. Over time, you will tame your inner critic and be kinder to yourself.

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