Are you ready to meet the JUDGE? ⚖️

Stern judge noddingNo, not that one.

The one living inside of you...

Your inner critic!

What Is An Inner Critic?

Let's consult the dictionary...

inner: of or relating to the mind or spirit, existing as an often repressed part of one's psychological makeup


critic: one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique

So, an inner critic is the judge that lives in your head.

Thought bubble with gavel insideBut that is not the only way the inner critic has been described.

It has also been labeled a bully, a survival mechanism, a saboteur, the superego, and "automatic negative thoughts".


Besides a "judging voice in your head," an inner critic could be described as:

an indifferent observer in our mind

an upbeat internal cheerleader

brain chatter that is often negative

Why Should I Meet Mine?

Because that voice has a lot of POWER in your life.

The inner critic can lead to feelings of...

Flaticon IconGuilt

Flaticon IconShame

Flaticon IconAnxiety

Flaticon IconDepression

Is Everyone's The Same?

Nope. Our inner critics are as unique and varied as us.

Picture of a variety of emotion faces drawn on eggsPhoto by Tengyart on Unsplash

BUT they do tend to fall into different categories, such as:

  • Perfectionist

  • Inner controller

  • Taskmaster

  • Underminer

  • Destroyer

  • Guilt-tripper

  • Conformist

Many of these are harmful, but sometimes an inner critic can be helpful.

Examples Of Inner Critics

Let's listen in on some harmful and one helpful inner critic!

Photo of a staircasePhoto by Rutger Heijmerikx on Unsplash

A person trips walking up the stairs. Their inner critic says:

I am such a clumsy fool; can't even walk. No wonder no one ever wants me on their team. 🤕

What a terrible house, the stairs aren't even level. If I didn't live in here, my life would be better. 🏠

I wasn't paying attention because I have so much on my mind. Time to take a break and focus on walking. 🤔

If you hadn't skipped your workout this morning, you wouldn't have done that. Lazy, lazy, lazy. 😴


Which inner critic is helpful?





How Do I Get Mine To Be More Helpful?

You are doing it! Seriously.

The first step is to be aware that you have an inner voice and that it can be changed.

Crushing it already

The next step is to practice honesty and self-compassion (being a good friend to yourself).

Let's see how that looks in someone else.

Kermit's Inner Critic

Back view of Kermit the Frog doing some very silly dance moves. He does not know we see him.Kermit thinks he is alone.

Looking toward us, Kermit looks surprised and then embarrassed as he turns slowly away.But suddenly realizes he has an audience!

His inner critic says...

I am an idiot! Ugh, I never do anything right. It would be better if I weren't even here!

Flaticon IconLet's T.H.I.N.K.

Is that...

  • True?

  • Helpful?

  • Inspiring?

  • Necessary?

  • Kind?

It's easy for us to see that Kermit's inner critic is being a bully. It's harder to recognize when it is our own inner critic.

The first step is to be aware of your inner critic! Once you start to notice what you are telling yourself, then you can stop and T.H.I.N.K. about what it says.


Back to Kermit. If his inner critic used the T.H.I.N.K. process, it might sound like:

I will never, ever live this down.

I am embarassed, but I was having fun.

Can't come here again. Only solution.

I hate these people — a bunch of sneaks!

Take Action

Man looking at you with urgency and tapping the watch on his wrist.

To discover more about your inner critic:


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This Byte has been authored by


Heather Hoff

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