Self-Care

5 Tips For Dealing With Your Inner Critic

5 tips for dealing with your inner critic

This post brought to you by Activia. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Blissful Mind.

Think about a time when you were criticized by someone else. Maybe they made a comment about your appearance, behavior, or way of thinking.

If you’re anything like me, you probably took it to heart and thought about it for way too long. It takes a lot of self-confidence to not care what other people think of you.

5 tips for dealing with your inner criticLet’s be honest, it feels awful to be criticized.

When we are criticized by others, we tend to experience a chain of reactions that goes like this:

1.      Anger: How could you say that about me? I don’t like you right now.

2.     Disbelief: I can’t believe you just said that. I would never criticize you.

3.     Opposition: No way, you’re totally wrong about that.

4.     Self-Doubt: Wait…what if you’re right?

5.     Belief: I’m not good enough anymore.

6.     Fear: I’m terrified to do anything in case I fail.

What starts out as a series of feelings and thoughts turns into an actual belief that holds you back from your dreams.

The thing is, we do this to ourselves all. the. freaking. time. Instead of someone else criticizing us, we criticize ourselves and trick ourselves into thinking we’re incapable of the extraordinary.

What is the inner critic?

There’s this thing called the inner critic that basically gives us an internal monologue of all the things we suck at. This negative inner voice convinces us that we are not worthy enough, not pretty enough, and not charismatic enough to be successful. Just as a bully might pick on your weaknesses, the inner critic feeds off of self-doubt.

This negative self-talk causes us to believe things that no one else but us plants into our heads. It’s like having a friend constantly telling you everything that’s wrong with you. Would you keep a friend like that around? No. So why do we this to ourselves?

Holding ourselves back

Remember when I posted about Activia’s Inner Voice Interview where they asked women what was holding them back from reaching their dreams? 80% of the time, the answer was themselves. Here’s that video again in case you missed it:

This is something we all experience as women. I think there’s at least some benefit to knowing we’re not alone when we do this.

The mind + body connection

When we start to believe these negative thought patterns,  it can really impact our lives. I’m all about the mind, body, and soul connection, and I believe that health ultimately starts  from within. If we are letting our inner critics control our behavior and actions, how can we be the best versions of ourselves?

Because I would never want you to hold yourself back from being your greatest self, just as I am working to do the same for myself, I wanted to share a few tips for not letting the inner critic get the best of us.

How To Deal With Your Inner Critic

5 tips for dealing with your inner critic

Create a safe place in your mind

If you wanted to give someone some constructive criticism, how would you do it? You’d first want to make sure you’re coming from a place of good intentions and not a place of frustration. This is something we can implement for ourselves as well. Taking regular actions to create a safe place in your mind increases your likelihood of maintaining a positive outlook. Think about what centers you and makes you feel safe. Some examples are meditation, going for a walk, yoga, and journaling. Let your mind be a safe space infused with positive thinking and self-love.

Increase your awareness

An important step in dealing with your inner critic is simply to create more self-awareness when it’s happening. This allows us to understand where our beliefs and thoughts about ourselves come from. If you’re able to recognize the moments when your inner critic is telling you something, you give yourself a chance to question it and therefore reduce the likelihood that you’ll believe it. Lastly, try to identify thoughts as nothing more than thoughts. Thoughts are not facts or realities. They do not define you.

Reframe the role of the inner critic

There’s a lot of advice out there for silencing or conquering your inner critic. I personally think it’s impossible to get rid of the inner critic once and for all, simply because this will always be part of our journey through life. Instead, we have to figure out how we can use the inner critic to motivate us and keep moving us forward.

We have a choice in how we respond to criticism from ourselves and others, and the key is to respond to it productively and wisely. If we look at the inner critic as a challenge that encourages us to take action and prove it wrong, we are constantly given a challenge to overcome. In my opinion, this keeps life more interesting anyway.

5 tips for dealing with your inner critic

Bring in positive reinforcement

The thing about negative self-talk is that you need to make sure you’re balancing it out (and going above and beyond) with positive self-talk. If we return to the example of giving someone else constructive criticism, you’d probably want to first tell them what they’re doing a good job at before you tell them what they need to improve on. The same goes for yourself. Remind yourself often of your accomplishments. Keep an accomplishment log or journal, take pictures to remind yourself, or tell someone else what you did. For goodness sake, tell yourself you’re proud! Self-love is a vital factor in increasing your self-worth.

Ask for help when you need it

When we get overwhelmed with our never-ending to-do lists, self-care becomes less and less of a priority. When this happens, our minds and bodies feel drained of energy. We run ourselves into the ground which means we’re less likely to focus on positive self-talk. That’s when the inner critic gets its chance to take over again. If we make sure we’re asking for help when we need it (asking others AND ourselves), we reduce overwhelm, get some time to nourish ourselves, and let our positive inner voice take control again.


#itstartsinside

Activia wants women to recognize that we have the power to let this positive inner voice lead the way. When we work with each other instead of against each other, we give ourselves permission to harness our greatest potential. It’s so important that we support and encourage each other to live well and dream big, especially young women, which is why Activia will be donating $250,000 to the Girls Who Code non-profit organization to support the future generation of empowered women.

Together, I hope we can encourage women to realize that taking care of what’s inside – both mentally and physically – is the key to dealing with our inner critic.


Share your thoughts

What does your inner critic tell you most often? How do you deal with negative self-talk? 

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Catherine Beard
Hi, I'm Catherine! The Blissful Mind is your guide to being the calmest, healthiest, most productive version of yourself. Whether you're trying to slow down, de-stress, or feel more content, I’m here to help make life a little less complicated.
  • That was a nice reading. Thank you so much for sharing it! I know that I am my the biggest self-critic and I think I should work on not to be haha. :)

    Lucie | http://www.inbluebo.xcom

  • Meenal

    Somehow somewhere the child in us turns into the parent we had…
    Nice points for balancing the 2
    Thanks

  • Macaela Haas

    This was such a needed read after this long week. The video brought tears to my eyes as I realize my inner critic played a nasty role this week!!! I plan to share this blog with my co-workers!! Thank you for your encouraging word!!! I am truly thankful!!!

    • Oh Macaela, I’m so glad the video moved you! I hope we can all encourage each other to be our best selves, inner critics aside!

  • amelia may

    Such positive and caring advice. Thank you.

    Keep Calm and start writing –
    http://www.23millymay25.blogspot.co.uk

  • Thank you for this thoughtful piece. I often wondered why I am so much harder on myself than I would ever be on my friends. One thing that has helped me so much is my meditation practice. The more I disconnect with myself, the harder I am on myself. I write about it, because I have found that it is about connection. With yourself and with others. http://mymeditationproject.com/

  • Brie Lewis

    I never realized how hard I am on myself until recently. I am way harder on myself for making a mistake than I would ever be on another person for making the same mistake. The inner critic keeps us stuck in our life; too afraid to move forward. I’ve recently learned how to bring awareness to the inner critic and meditate to calm and quiet the voice. I would really love to help other women recognize their inner critic and learn how to manage it. Thanks so much for your inspiring post!

  • Lisa Mooren

    I want to tell you thank you for your Inner critiic blog. It was what I needed right now, at this moment in my life. Also, may I give you something in return? I want to give you this special invite. Thank you again. Lisa
    https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/conventions/

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