You may or may not have heard the term “inner critic”, you may or may not be familiar with it, but i’m telling you we pretty much allll have an inner critic…and if you don’t then you’re damn lucky! The inner critic is the little dude in your head that tells you that you can’t do that because you might fail, or accuses you of not being good enough, successful enough, thin enough, and just generally gives you a hard time. This voice is often the one stopping you from really feeling good or really getting to the place in your life that you want to be in…which is not cool at all. SO I want to share some tactics i’ve picked up, that’ll help you burn the sh** outta that little guy!
Myself and my inner critic are very well acquainted, we have chats all day errrydaayy. I first became properly aware of what this voice was when I would perform in plays. I’d be in the middle of a scene and it’d be like, “Yo, Tal…you don’t know your lines” or “you’re not being authentic enough, the audience doesn’t believe you.” As soon as I started listening to the voice, i’d find myself not being truly in the scene, so of course then my performance wouldn’t feel authentic! This is something i’ve become quite skilled in ignoring, but i’ve found that in day to day situations the inner critic can get quite intense, taking up a lot of space in my mind and not leaving much room for anything else. Recently, i’ve been taught a bunch of tactics which seem to do a good job of muting the inner critic, or at least quietening it down!
- Draw your inner critic. Whether it looks like Bob the Builder or a tornado, it’s good to create a visual of what you’re dealing with.
- Name the bugger. It sounds odd, but getting personal with it means you can address it more easily, recognise when it’s getting too chatty and have a stern word. As you would with a friend or family member that was winding you up or pushing boundaries.
- Think about where it lives inside of you. When this negative voice starts talking to you, where do you feel it most? For me it’s in my gut and in my head.
- Write down what it says to you. Getting things out of your head and down on paper is often a really great way to release stuff thats going on in your mind. It’s one of the reasons so many people write journals!
- Write down 3 things it says to you daily that hinders you. It can be as small as making you feel guilty for not spending an extra 5 minutes on the running machine, to something much bigger.
- Write down 3 things it has cost you in the past. This can be anything from going to a friends Birthday party, to a relationship.
- Keep it all together. Make sure you have all of this info, including the drawing and its name, down on one piece of paper.
- Scrunch it up, rip it up, stamp on it, even set fire to the bugger! It sounds strange, but the physical activity of getting rid of it is a great release. It shows you that your mind is not your inner critic, they can be separated and you do have the strength to get rid of it if you want to!
- Alternatively, keep it. Some people find it can be useful to them in some way, or maybe you’re just not at the stage where you want to part with it yet.
Don’t do anything you’re not ready to, just the physical activity of getting the inner critic from your head and on to paper is a great step in the process of divorcing it. These techniques really help you to understand what is hindering you and realise that you are not your thoughts!