The “inner critic” and how to expel him

We all sometimes hear a mysterious voice whispering in our ear, “You screwed up,” “You’re not trying hard enough,” and “You’re a loser.” Does it sound familiar? That voice is your inner critic, who needs to be silenced like an overly intrusive and rude oppositionist. You don’t have to listen to this voice, but you don’t have to avoid talking to it either — the inner critic needs to be confronted. 

I do it this way: when I catch myself in some critical remark about myself, I mentally record it and immediately ask myself: “What do I think about myself the rest of the time when this voice is silent?” But, of course, your opinion of yourself when you are calm is entirely different. I recommend you make a diary for such “conversations.” Write down the remarks that your inner critic tells you that make you see a situation worse than it is. Write them down, even if it’s self-insults or just some meaningless phrases!

Of course, you can’t stop the process of self-criticism with a snap of your fingers, but you should start small. Change the pronoun “I” to “you,” as if all the unpleasant things are being said to you by another person. Then give this voice a particular intonation and timbre. Think about who is talking to you, maybe even how they look. And then, during one of these self-attacks, ask yourself, “So what’s next? What does it change?” If you fail somewhere, does it mean that you are the only loser, and everyone around you is a winner from birth? No. Or does it mean you need to give up what you started and forget about the goal? Not either. So why are you listening to all this?

There is such a tale about the good and evil wolf inside every person — which wolf you feed more, that one will be stronger. So, feed the good wolf: praise yourself for the results, forgive yourself, and allow yourself to make mistakes. If you don’t succeed today, you will tomorrow, but only if you don’t give up.