What does your inner critic tell you?Aug 30, 2022
#innercritic #selfdoubt #positivethoughts #faultfinding
How I relate to my inner self influences my relationship with all others. My satisfaction with myself and my satisfaction with other people are directly proportional. – Sue Atchley Ebaugh
You are not your thoughts.
I visualize a pyramid and inner critic is at the top. Below that are emotions of low self-esteem, self-doubt, and self-criticism. On a wider level below that, I’d say the actions are – judge, demean, undermine, fabricate, and compare.
Low Self-esteem Self-doubt Self-criticism
Judge Demean Undermine Fabricate Compare
Do you have other words or more layers to add? Are you aware of your inner critic and how it doesn’t tell the truth?
Can you relate to your inner critic voice? Your inner critic started somewhere. You weren’t born with it. Can you identify where your inner critic came from? Has it always seemed to be around, or do you recognize a certain time or person that started judging you? Do you recognize your inner critic voice? What do you do when your inner critic raises its ugly head? Talk back to it. Tell your inner critic that you are good enough and you are worthy. You may not be perfect, but there’s nothing wrong with you.
Do you experience rumination? Those repeated thoughts about regrets or resentments of the past, or repeated worries about the future. What good do either of these do? Take a breath and surround yourself with the present moment. The present moment is what is here right now. Allow yourself to let that other stuff go. Think of your inherent goodness. Use your five senses to bring yourself into the moment. What does it feel like, taste like, sound like, feel like, smell like? Remember, it’s not a once-and-done. It takes practice.
Have you ever known that something was the right thing to do and then question your confidence or ability to follow through? That’s your inner critic making you experience self-doubt and uncertainty about decisions or choices you make whether you have control over them or not. It’s asking you whether you are good enough. And you are!
Do you wonder why your thoughts are negative? Has it become easier to think negatively? Sometimes the negative that surrounds you can overwhelm you and become a habit. You can acknowledge your negative feelings and then remind yourself to think positively. What’s the best thing that could happen to feel more positive? Think of something to be thankful for. Add to your gratitude list. Remember what is right with you.
Your thoughts create emotions, maybe even shame or guilt. You may want to isolate or disconnect from people. You are not a flawed or bad person. Try some of the following ideas:
Cultivate the opposite of the constricting feeling. If you are feeling anger, cultivate peace. If you are feeling fear, cultivate confidence. Fill in your own blanks. If you are feeling ___________, cultivate ___________.
Change the feelings that result from your thoughts. The breath comes in really handy here. Pause, take a breath, and respond in a calmer manner. What will happen if you don’t overreact?
Change your thoughts – change your attitude. Self-care is taking care of yourself. You are then available to respond well to others.
Ask yourself – Are my thoughts benefitting my life in any way?
Tell yourself – I am not spending one more minute of my brain energy thinking about why something is the way it is.
If you judge yourself - you may use those same judgment criteria against someone else. If you feel good about yourself, you can feel good about others.
All my best,
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About Nancy Whitman
Nancy Whitman is a certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT), yoga teacher, and author. She specializes in empowering you to improve your wellbeing. Nancy is registered with the Yoga Alliance as ERYT-500 and is certified through ACE as a personal trainer, health coach, and fitness instructor. She has a Master's degree in Education, MaEd.
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