Your Inner Critic is Irrationally Harsh. Silence it!

Thomas Oppong
Oct 13, 2016 · 4 min read

You are not good enough! You can’t do it! Don’t even bother trying! It’s too late for you! Nobody will share it, like it, recommend it or even see it! Don’t waste your time! You have no writing credentials. You’re terrible at grammar, punctuation, and using parentheses. No one wants to read your opinions — everyone has their own opinions to sort through.

These are a few of the many phrases that keep coming back whenever you start thinking about pursuing your life’s work or starting any creative work.

Psychological research shows that success and wellbeing are associated with high self-esteem, and that people with lower self-esteem suffer a disproportionate share of emotional and behavioural problems.

The truth is…

Nobody is perfect enough to begin anything! You will never be ready for anything..ever! I love to write and share. I’m not a professional writer. I have no writing credentials. I am not Stephen King. I have no technique, and I am not trained. But I write anyway. It matters that I show up everyday. I can only get better with practice. My inner critic has gotten weaker with time.

Make no room for the judge!

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ― Louise L. Hay

The judge inside me likes to tell me how terrible I am. He mocks me, teases me, and pushes me around. He’s mean, very critical, insensitive, and determined to hold me back. But that won’t stop me from showing up and sharing with you.

When you start any creative project or work, whether it is the beginning, the middle, or the end, your inner critic loves to get involved. The judge is very unoriginal and speaks to each of us very much the same. You are most likely to hear the same things I hear.

But his judgments take on hundreds of forms. It’s in your best interest to silence him. Otherwise you will spend most of your life listening to the voice in your head that tells you what’s wrong with you, what you can’t do even if you try hard, and why things will never be any different.

Your progress and success depends on that willpower to overcome the whispers in your ear whenever you engage in your life’s work.

How you talk to yourself has a lot to do with your success than you think!

“Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take it’s place. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on instead of obsessing about it. Equally important, don’t allow anyone else to dwell on your mistakes or shortcomings or to expect perfection from you.” ― Beverly Engel

According to research by psychologist Ethan Kross, there’s more to the idea of “your best self” than life affirmations spoken to your reflection in a mirror.

Your best shot at winning against your inner voice is to dare yourself. Start trying, creating, making something you are afraid to do. Don’t stop trying, and your inner critic will be proven wrong.

You can’t give in to the voice that wants to shut you down. You can’t give up on yourself. When you fail to identify and separate yourself from this inner critic, you allow it to impact your behavior and shape the direction of your live.

Stop looking for what’s wrong about you and everything you want to pursue, and see what’s right about you instead! Focus more on what could go right instead of wrong. When you catch yourself criticising, stop and be realistic about what can actually happen when you concentrate on getting stuff done instead of thinking about them.

Don’t act on the directives of your inner critic!

Here is Lisa Firestone’s recommendation for silencing your inner critic. Lisa is the co-author of Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice, Creating a Life of Meaning.

“Try to identify what your critical inner voice is telling you. Acknowledge that this thought process is separate from your real point of view. Remember that your critical inner voice is not a reflection of reality.

Remember not to act on the directives of your inner critic. Take actions that represent your own point of view, who you want to be and what you aim to achieve. Your critical inner voice may get louder, telling you to stay in line or not to take chances. However, by identifying, separating from, and acting against this destructive thought process, you will grow stronger, while your inner critic grows weaker.”

Taking actual steps in the right direction no matter how small they are and celebrating those small wins tells your inner critic that you’re on the right path and helps to overcome this negative voice.

Those screw ups along the way may feel like the end of the world to you, but the overwhelming majority of people couldn’t care less. Give your inner critic a lesson in perspective.

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Thomas Oppong

Written by

Founder at AllTopStartups | Author | Creator of Thinking in Models and Kaizen Habits | Featured at Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Forbes, Entrepreneur, etc.

The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

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