We have all experienced that inner saboteur in our heads that tells us we aren’t capable or good enough. Peachylean are all about taming that inner critic and going for what we want in life! For the past 2 years Sharon had on our agenda to produce a podcast for the Peachylean community. Yet every time she went to put words on a page a voice in her head would shout and roar to tell her how she couldn't and shouldn't do it. “You’re not good enough, smart enough, who wants to listen to you?”.
So that’s the very reason she put together the podcast, ‘Tame your Inner Critic’, which helps people to understand and tame that inner voice that limits us from our true potential in life. After working on this for the past three years she will tell you it has helped her, and her business grow and allowed her to break through and achieve her goals and dreams.
Here’s Sharon's 5 top tips on taming the inner critic and growing in confidence.
For most of your life you have been listening to your critical inner voice without realising it. It comes through almost as background noise. It’s important to become more conscious of the moments when your critical inner voice starts nagging at you. Try to notice when its undermining insults and instructions chime in throughout the day. “You look so tired/fat/ugly/stupid.” “You’re annoying people.” “You can’t do this.” “You’re such a mess.”
Don’t be fooled by the voice. Whether it sounds gentle or harsh, its main objective is to keep you safe and comfortable.
The word meditation can be alien to some people. Taking a breath however is a fundamental necessity and most of us are not utilising our ability to control our inner voice and moods. The inner voice can inhibit our breathing and in turn affect mood and emotions. The next time you hear the inner critic pipe up, Breathe.... take a 3 second inhalation hold for 2 seconds and let out your breath– use the breath as a metaphor, breathe in the positive voice and breathe out the negative voice. Catch the inner critic with your breath.
Write your “voices” down in the second person
A powerful exercise you can do on your own is to write down the negative thoughts you have toward yourself. First, write them down in the first person as “I” statements, i.e. “I’m not fun. No one finds me interesting.” Then, next to each of these “voices,” write the same thoughts as “you” statements. “You’re not fun. No one finds you interesting.” This process helps you start to separate your critical inner voice from your real point of view, so you can see it as the enemy it actually is.
Challenge your critical inner voice
The next step is to respond to these statements from a realistic and compassionate perspective. Greet the voice with a caring and honest response to each of your critical inner voice attacks. Use “I” statements. “I am worthy, I have a lot to offer.” As you do this exercise, be ready to shut down any arguments your inner critic tries to sneak in. Make a commitment to be kinder about yourself with the respect and regard you would have for a friend.
Connect your voices to your actions
Your critical inner voice has plenty of bad advice to dish out. “Don’t ask her. She’ll just reject you.” “Don’t speak up. No one wants to hear what you have to say.” “Forget about relationships. He doesn’t really love you.” “Have another piece of cake. Who cares if you’re healthy?” These statements can come through loud and clear, or they can be more subtle and suggestive. As you get better at recognizing your critical inner voice, you can start to catch on when it’s starting to influence your behaviour. Did you suddenly shut down emotionally? Get quiet? Push away a loved one? Lash out at a friend? Try to think of the events that trigger your voices and how these voices, in turn, affect your actions. Try to identify patterns and recognize self-limiting behaviours you engage in based on this voice.
Positive Action Everyday
Once you see how your inner critic can throw you off course and change your behaviour, you can start to consciously act against it. This will likely make you uncomfortable at first. The process of tuning out your inner critic and tapping into your real self can be uplifting, but it can also cause you a lot of anxiety. These are deep-seated beliefs you’re challenging, and at first, the critical inner voice will often get louder. However, the more you actively ignore it, the weaker it will ultimately become.
Try these tips out for yourself, it’s hard work but life changing!
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