How do you make peace with that inner critical voice? As I begin writing, thoughts appear: “You’re not good enough; What do you have to say that hasn’t been said? How can you help, if your mind is full of junk?” Ruminating thoughts and negative chatter like this stops us from reaching our dreams and goals and can also lead to depression.
Today, are you ready to take the challenge with me? Make peace with that inner critic that says you’re not smart enough, or pretty enough? You’re too fat. You’re too poor. You don’t know what you’re doing. Let’s decide today that we’ll shine a light on ways to silence the voice. What if we had tools to make peace with that negative voice when it starts chiming in?
Well NOW you do. And here are what Positive Psychology studies are suggesting.
Look for the positive. Amplify Your Strengths: Some research has suggested that we need five positive thoughts for every negative voice we carry around in our heads to feel balanced, happy, and productive. We often assume focusing on our weaknesses will help, when actually, amplifying our strengths is more important and MORE productive.
Ask for the Positive: When bosses or others are critical, make sure you ask them for positive feedback as well. They may not realize the power of the mind. Neuroscientists studying learning have found this to be the case—when you expect and compliment what’s going right, this expands, and your team will perform stronger. They haven’t reached their potential and they’re more apt to dig in to fix it. They also learn better, too, than from harsh criticism.
Name the critical voice as quickly as possible. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Bird-Man” the lead character has a very demeaning voice. Whenever you hear the mean voice—label it. Bring it to awareness, “Oh there’s that critical voice.” Mentally reassure the crazy critic that you got this, you can handle this, and don’t need help. With practice, you’ll label it quickly.
Get out of your head and into the present moment. When you live in the moment, your inner voices go silent. From that point, you are operating from your heart, your deeper mind. You are then following your infinite wisdom, rather than your Ego thinking brain. To become present in the moment, take a few breaths, become aware of your body or your immediate surroundings. This breaks the grip.
Make peace and ask the voice to be more of a coach. I learned this from Jack Canfield, best-selling author of the “Success Principles.” At one point, he had a conversation with his inner critic, and said, “Hey, I need you to be more supportive, less critical. This other way is clearly NOT working.” From that point on, the voice seemed more positive, more supportive.
And if all else fails, picture that voice and its big mouth-yakking away. Now, take a huge piece of black tape. Cover up the mouth with all of your might. Now, you cannot hear or make out the words. Ha ha! That’s one way to fix it!
Please share this blog post and comment how you silence your critical voice.
Vicki Atlas is a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner and Meditation Coach. Atlas is passionate about bringing more peace to children and adults and helping you enlighten your life. She produces the CalmingCorner.com for kids and is helping educators and parents awaken to their best life. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com