We all have that mean little inner critic troll that talks to us and offers us “advice”. Negative and unhelpful advice that does not promote any kind of self-love. The best way to deal with the self-serving little critic troll that wants to decide what is and isn’t good for you is to fire their damn ass and trust that you know what you are doing and do it anyway.
When you really want to join that yoga class down the road and you are too scared to show that you can’t bend at the knees and if you try the noise is like something out of a bone-crushing horror movie. Don’t let the troll get a word in. Get to that class!
Or you want to join that singing class, but the troll says that you have a voice that upsets the dogs in the neighbourhood for miles around. Drown the troll out with that voice and go anyway.
This critic is an expert at making us feel bad about ourselves. Silencing it is critical for our wellbeing. Caveat: IT WILL NOT BE EASY!
Let’s silence the criticism with these tips.
It’s very doubtful that you’d tell them the same things you tell yourself. We tend to be a lot harsher on ourselves than we are on other people. Next time your critic troll pipes up, ask yourself “is this what you would say to a friend?”
Many of us have deep-seated beliefs that we have held since we were young. They will be second nature. Understand what they are how they have been influencing your behaviour and you will crack the code.
Perhaps you have had someone repeatedly tell you that you are clumsy. Or that you are not cut out to be a leader.
Whatever form it takes, this negative self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and lead to repeating negative thoughts and patterns. At its worst it can trigger destructive “coping” habits such as overeating, drinking too much or taking drugs. At the very least, it can hold you back in life and stop you from being the ‘you’ you truly want to be.
Challenge these beliefs. We intuitively know there isn’t any real evidence to back them up. And if you deep dive into that spaghetti tangle we call a brain you’d probably find plenty of examples that completely debunk any negative belief your harbouring.
Once you recognize that these beliefs are not your truths, focus on your strengths instead. Once you are not defined by these beliefs they will have less influence on your behaviour.
When your critic troll makes it hard for you to appreciate your ‘wins’ a gratitude journal can help you see the great things you are doing.
Write a list of your strengths and keep it folded up in your purse. Remind that troll of them every now and then. If you can’t come up with many on your own, rope in family and friends to help.
Adopting a more mindful way of dealing with your thoughts can help your inner critic to be less powerful. If you’ve been so used to your self-criticism that it’s now second nature, being mindful can help you notice those thoughts. And remember, notice them with curiosity, not judgement! When you notice them you’re in a much better place to challenge them. It could be helpful to record patterns between your negative self-talk and how you feel when it happens.
Your inner critic is protecting you from feeling certain emotions so you can thank it for that but ask yourself what is it that you’re really scared of.
These may be quite wide-ranging emotions when you dig deeper. For example, telling yourself that you’re fat and unattractive if you put on weight can be masking deeper feelings about losing control, fear and failure.
Acknowledging and getting in touch with the real emotions allows you to tell your inner critic that you understand where it’s coming from but you’re perfectly okay to deal with them on your own.
Positive mantras and affirmations can help to move your thought patterns from negative to positive. If adapt your affirmations to focus on positive things about yourself this can really stop the troll in its tracks – particularly in areas that you feel negative about right now. I write a positive mantra in my daily planner every day as part of my morning routine.
YOU’VE GOT THIS!!