Are you ready to meet the JUDGE? ⚖️
No, not that one.
The one living inside of you...
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.
But 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...
Is Everyone's The Same?
Nope. Our inner critics are as unique and varied as us.
BUT they do tend to fall into different categories, such as:
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!
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.
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
Kermit thinks he is alone.
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!
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!
To discover more about your inner critic:
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