How to Create a Positive Voice Despite Your Inner-Critic
Originally posted on Wright Wellness Center 2018
It can be hard to listen for a positive voice over the roar of your Inner-Critic. Our positive, supportive voice inside is often soft spoken. Our inner-critics are often loud and brash.
It is not our fault, we learn to live this way. We create stories that we’ve built our life upon that are based on what other people have told us.
We base our expectations based on what we have been told..
For example, I was told I wasn’t good at math. Being bad at math became part of my story. I took a job in an office counting money and it went o.k. , I had to count 3 times as part of their protocol and I had receipts to make sure it all balanced.
I did my job satisfactory enough. When they fired the accounts payable person they wanted to train me for the job. My inner-critic roared with laughter and cruelty’s over my abilities. I knew the job had a greater margin for error with my math but I took the job anyway.
This gave my inner-critic a powerful platform to run wild with negativity and accusations on a daily basis.
- Every day as I worked, my inner-critic told me how stupid I was when I made a mistake.
- It constantly chimed in about my lack of skills and understanding with accounting.
- I often felt like my company would uncover their mistake at any moment for deciding to train me for the job.
I did that job for several years and the power of my critic had me feeling drained and full of negativity about my life. I was often physically ill and my immune system was low.
This was years before I realized that my inner-critic was not a valid voice to listen to. Awareness is the first step. Now I understand that whenever I feel that fear of being found out, I need to examine the thought behind it.
When I am worried about my lack of skills or understanding it is a good time to ask questions and seek guidance. If I make a mistake I now realize it is just a mistake and I take the time to fix it. The first thing to do when you are trying to create a positive voice is to recognize the voice inside.
Mentally step outside of yourself and listen. Gain awareness of what the your inner voice sounds like,
- Is the voice helpful?
- Does it sound like something you would say to someone or is it the voice of your parent, teacher or former boss?
- How often is it supportive vs. negative?
Creating a Positive Voice
Listen to your inner-voice for a few days. If your inner-critic is polluting your life with negativity, you will want to turn up the volume of your positive, supportive voice.
- Cultivate compassion for who you are at the moment. You have gotten this far in life and you are taking steps to make changes. Change is hard but you are seeking help and support. Love that person inside you that wants to find ways to feel better.
- Celebrate your strengths. If I didn’t have a knack for organization and attention to detail I wouldn’t have been able to keep that accounts payable job . Which made my math skills less essential.
- If you realize that the inner-critic is actually someone else’s voice, LET IT GO. Whatever THEIR critic is telling you is their story not yours.
- Retrain your voice to sound more loving. At first you may want to imagine that your inner voice is talking to a child or someone you love. You wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings would you?
One thing to remember, Focus upon what you do want to hear. If the inner-critic speaks up, divert your attention and focus on the outcome you’d like to see.
Creating a Positive Voice can change your life.
When you trade in the voice of your inner-critic for a positive voice it can transform the way you live your life. You will feel happier and have a better outlook even when things aren’t going as well as you planned. Looking for new solutions based on your strengths will come naturally.
You will procrastinate less. The inner-critic has trained you to not try things you may fail at, so you put them off if perfection is an issue. Create some awareness, celebrate your strengths and let the negative voice go . A loving inner-voice allows you to experience the world with joy in your heart.