10 Proven Ways to Win the Fight Against Inner Critic

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“Nobody wants to read your stuff.” “You aren’t good enough to write in the big leagues.” “You’re writing isn’t smart or funny enough.” “You should go back to your day job and forget about inspiring the world with your writing.”

That’s my inner critic at play. When she’s fired up I hear things like, “You are stupid!” “You suck at this!” And my favorite, “You (and your dreams) are in Fantasyland!”
I’ve learned these voices are a combination of family, acquaintances, coaches, teachers, or others who were probably trying to protect me at the time. They can also be a result of verbal abuse, wounds or trauma I took to heart as a child or young adult. Either way, the current day voices, and feelings are fear, doubt, and shame;
Over the years, I’ve been able to move from a place of feeling intense unworthiness to confidence and self-love by doing the work of healing my warrior child, recognizing my inner critic and relying more on my inner wisdom to guide me. The result is feeling joyful, free and inspired, more than I ever thought was possible.
You can have that too.

How to Silence Your Inner Critic

I know when the inner critic takes over it feels really, really bad. I believe this is what leads to hopelessness, despair, and depression. We lose our awareness of those voices and are trapped inside of them, listening to and believing every word, letting them drive our life.
I’ve often thought in my most severely vulnerable and unworthy moments like I have a mild form of mental illness. I’ve experienced depression both personally and in my family. I have friends who have attempted suicide. I’ve entertained thoughts like, “What if I wasn’t here anymore.

There’s a way out of that box we lock ourselves in! Through therapy, bodywork and alternative healing techniques I’ve begun to kick ass on the voices and break through to something way more joyful, inspiring and helpful.

We all need assistance when it comes to the inner critic. We all have an inner wisdom and healer to rely on. How are you doing when it comes to your inner critic?

People who’ve experienced severe trauma need more intensive therapy to help them reintegrate mind body and soul and feel whole again. When the stuff of life rips you apart, the voices take over and drown out your inner wisdom. Getting help to hear your intuition, inner wisdom, and healer and transform the doubt, pain, fear and shame is necessary.

10 Proven Ways to Win the Fight Against Inner Critic and Connect With Your Inner Wisdom

1. Secret Sauce to Practicing Awareness

Learn what it means to be an observer of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions. It will positively affect everything else that you do. The most influential authors on this subject include Eckhart Tolle, Anthony DeMello, Gay Hendricks, Laura Munson, Michael Singer, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Brene Brown, Thich Nat Hahn, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Byron Katie and Rhonda Byrne. meditation quote
You will get busy learning. Make it your lifelong study. In the mean time practice watching yourself like a hawk, unattached to what you observe. Feel what happens when you take a step back and look at your own feelings, reactions, and emotions.

2. Scale-Up Your Awareness Skills

As you learn about awareness you’ll be creating a discipline of it. Mastering the inner critic will require this level of practice. Read more books. Take a class. Talk to your friends about it. See how it’s going with other people. Hire a coach to help you. This will be what turns your life into a series of Aha moments.

3. You Name It!

Name your inner critic. One of my favorite authors and retreat leaders, Laura Munson, gave me this tip. I named my voice Martha. You can give your inner critic a real name of a person from your past, or a fake one. Either way, naming her separates her from you. This will forever change the way you relate to her and it helps empower you.

4. Sharing The Voice

Talk about the inner critic with the friends you trust and enjoy having “those” kinds of conversations with. One of the biggest problems with the inner critic – it stays quiet, hidden and unexpressed.Call that voice out by sharing her messages out loud. You’ll hear how mean and ridiculous they sound and they’ll begin to have less power over you.

5. Talk to Your Inner Critic

You can talk directly to your inner critic. Once you’ve named her you can have a conversation. I talk to mine like she is that three-year-old little girl and pour on the love. “Listen, I know you are trying to help me. I hear you. I love you. But I got this.” Talking to her means you separate from the voice. You are using your awareness to recognize she isn’t you and that will allow you to think, believe and respond differently.

6. Do Your Healing Work

If your inner critic controls your life then you have some things to heal. If you experience more dread, doubt, fear and shame than joy and love, then you have an opportunity for healing. Get help.
Seek out a skilled therapist, an experienced healer, a coach or guide to help you get to the stuff that’s keeping you from experiencing joy. There is always a way! Part of the challenge in the fight against your inner critic is to not give up. Take on the spirit of a warrior and work toward healing. Be brave.

7. Learn the Language of Your Intuition

Through your practice of awareness, you’ll be learning the difference between your inner critic and your inner wisdom or intuition. Intuition speaks a different language, and that language is a little different in every person. Practice learning how your body gives you those messages. Do this by getting still. Learn meditation. My favorite teacher on this subject is Adyashanti. His book, True Meditation helped me start a practice and really enjoy it. He helped me see that every moment is an opportunity to meditate and that it didn’t require me sitting on a pillow for an hour every day – although I highly recommend that.

8. Practice Speaking the Language of Your Intuition

As you get to know the language of your intuition you’re going to have to practice listening and speaking it. It’s all about awareness. Now that you understand more about the messages your body is giving you, start learning what they mean and what to do with them. The process of journaling has helped me a lot. By writing about my thoughts, feelings and emotions, I get insights and answers. Writing has been a direct link to my intuition. Others use artwork, or music, meditation or breathing.
Find the way that gives you the best path to your soul.

9. Prioritize Yourself and Your Practice

My favorite things in life don't cost any money

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money

To heal the world, you must start with yourself. Fill your own cup first. Learn how to say no. Learn regular self-care. Love yourself. Know your worth. Then and only then will you be able to give from your overflow rather than your reserves. When you prioritize yourself you honor your inner wisdom. She likes that and her voice will get louder the more you listen to her.

10. Find What You Love

The inner critic will get louder as you fight this fight, but it almost certainly starts to die down when passion, joy, bliss, and love start driving your bus. So find what you love. Do more of it, any way you can, any amount of time you can find. Let passion and inspiration be your focus as much as possible. You’ll start to recognize, call out and drown out your inner critic more and more as what you love becomes how you shine your light and make your mark in the world.

Join me in the comments and start calling out your inner critic. What are his/her favorite ways to try to sabotage you?
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Laura Probert
Laura Probert is an expert healer, teacher and writer for people sick of pain and fear getting in the way of their joy. Laura works with people who are ready to take action toward their dreams by waking up, being brave, healing their shit and doing what they love so much they lose track of time. She a regular contributor for The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen and Wild Sister Magazine. My blogs have been featured in Tiny Buddha, Black Belt Magazine, The Elephant Journal, PersonalGrowth.com and StevenAitchison.com. Laura's challenges, classes and workshops will help you redefine healing and take your journey to the next level! You might often find Laura writing, hanging with her beloved kids, dogs or a horse, or taste testing dark chocolate! Stay in touch with Laura!
Laura Probert

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Work on things you can change. "I found the secret to life; I'm okay when everything is not okay." Toni Amos #NimbleQuotes - 20 hours ago
Laura Probert
Laura Probert

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  • Nick Grant

    My inner critic is loud, vociferous and will not be ignored. It pretty much takes the form of my Dad’s negative and disapproving attitude.

    I know that it is my own voice and not that of another individual, and I do not ‘hear’ it per se. I sometimes give it my own voice, whispering “what the f**k” to myself all day long when I am at my most tired, stressed and vulnerable.

    I don’t really fight with this voice, try and silence it, or interact with it in any other way, because that would clearly be a step closer to giving total power to a sickness that grows within the mind of damaged people – myself included.

    However, I need to improve my self image, self perception and self esteem if I am going to beat these inner demons that threaten to tear my mind and soul apart from the inside out.

    My Dad recently suggested that I wear a pair of ridiculous looking £10 glasses to the office, where I am in an extremely high profile role on the #1 project in the biggest bank in Europe. What a dick.

    I need to tell him he needs to shut up about things he knows nothing about, rather than eroding my self confidence and making me feel stupid. I need to stick up for myself, not help him beat myself up.

    In time, bullies and insecure people, who project their inadequacies onto us, can be beaten, we can find our voice and identity, and become amazing people.

    Things get better.

  • Julia Osterc

    Been on a similar path… love many of the same authors and guides and practices! My critic’s name is ‘Ivy’ because she can look beautiful and innocent, yet poisonous to the touch by nature. 😉 We are learning to live together and put our brave boots on. 🙂

    • Julia, you’ve picked a very nice name for your “inner critic”. I think of doing exactly the same thing. Not sure about the name. Though, something tells me it should sound “sweet” too… ;-]

      • Julia Osterc

        Would love to hear what you choose… I’ve learned I need to find ways to respect and work with these aspects instead of fight so hard (at least, I try to remember that!). 🙂

  • Hi, Laura – this is a topic which I feel incredibly passionate about and am an expert (that’s a joke: aren’t we all experts at the inner critic?) Love your suggestions and I wanted to comment particularly on the “talk to your inner critic” idea … when I practiced this, I found my critic was usually supporting my “primary personality” (see “Embracing Your Inner Critic” by Hal and Sidra Stone) and when I engaged it was from that part of me instead of my “Self in Presence” (see Focusing Resources by Ann Weiser Cornell). When I allowed my inner critic to let me know what that part of me was worried about, I had a total moment of compassion and understanding – this, in turn, completely changed my relationship with that part of me. Fighting against our inner critic will only give it more strength – learning to listen and understand from our self-in-presence will result in a profound breakthrough! Thanks for addressing such an important topic! 🙂

    • Laura Probert

      Thank you Shannon! You remind me of Debbie Ford’s work, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers….we have to accept ALL of us. It’s hard work, but so, so rewarding. Thank you for your comment.