Quieting Our Inner Critic

I recently met a young woman who is making a significant difference in her community, a woman who is helping people transform their lives. If you had been listening to our conversation, it is unlikely you would have known how amazing Anna is. Hearing her describe herself and her work, you might have been underwhelmed. But I knew something about Anna before meeting her, and in our conversation it was clear that her inner-critic was very much “in control.” Anna deflected all praise, responding with examples of what she could and should be doing better. I wish this behavior surprised me, but it is pervasive in conversations with so many women I meet.

Much has been written about the critical inner voice that most of us hear throughout our days and nights, the voice that points out what we haven’t done, what we should have done, what we could have done better. So I find myself asking why we do not do more to “shush” that critical voice and instead cultivate our loving inner voice.

As always, I welcome comments on how YOU quiet your inner critic. Here are a few simple steps that have worked for me…

– Sit in a comfortable spot… close your eyes… take several very deep breaths in which you inhale
slowly, hold the breath for a moment, then exhale slowly.

– Think about the most loving voice you have heard at any time in your life, a voice that has
encouraged you, calmed you, comforted you.

– HEAR that voice speak your name…notice the tone, notice how you feel when you hear that voice.

– Welcome that voice into your awareness and commit to listening to it more often, to have that
loving inner voice be the one you to which you listen.

– Ask that loving inner voice to intercede every time your inner critic speaks up.

– Say out loud whatever version of this statement resonates for you: “I free myself from any and
all judgment, including my own. I recognize that I am truly AMAZING.”

YOU ARE!

8 Responses to Quieting Our Inner Critic

  1. Stella Chiu May 5, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    Hi, Sharon

    Any criticism particular self criticism has profound effect on individual.
    When that voice comes on, I break the chain by speak anything.
    It is a proof in science that our body can’t hear and think at the same time.

    Another way to reduce the chances of the inner voice criticism is increase the
    awareness of our own identity, the more positive we feel about ourselves, the lesser
    the degree of own inner voice of criticism.

    Thanks for post

    • sharon May 5, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

      Thank you very much for taking the time to share your perspective, Stella. I love your point about the opportunity to “increase the
      awareness of our own identity.” Self-awareness and self-respect surely help lessen self-criticism.

      Sending all the best wishes and a big hug,

      Sharon

  2. Julia April 26, 2016 at 3:00 am #

    Thank you for sharing this important message, Sharon. I have noticed that my inner critic has for most of my life been silent, I have been able to acknowledge the positives and be happy about what I have been able to accomplish – and this is a lot due to the support and encouragement that i have received from early years. However, this inner critic has definitely come alive during the past 18 months as I have become a mother. The responsibility is overwhelming at times and you always wonder if you are doing things right. However, it is through people like you that I can remind myself that I need to breathe and make sure that I have time to care for myself too.
    Thank you for the reminder!

    • sharon April 26, 2016 at 10:06 am #

      Thank you very much for taking the time to comment, Julia, and for highlighting one of the many changes that motherhood often sparks. I have no doubt that you are an amazing mom, and encourage you to recognize that all of your parenting choices are based in love. No child could ask for more.

      And yes, taking care of yourself is so important…and it sets a great example for your little one!

      Sending much love and a very big hug,

      Sharon

  3. Dorothea April 25, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

    The critical inner voices are agony. There is nothing I do,no decision I make, that I don’t think I should have thought longer, or done better, or done differently. I’m never, ever pleased with my achievements, even when others recognize these as innovative or unique. It’s tough to live with such a tormentor inside. I want to be free from my own judgement, be happy, be content, and embrace peace.

    • sharon April 26, 2016 at 10:00 am #

      Thank you very much for your candid comment, Dorothea. I am grateful for your courage in sharing it because you have described feeling that many others experience. I send my best wishes as you develop and strengthen that inner loving voice that is waiting to be heard.

      With a very big hug,

      Sharon

  4. Author April 25, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    Absolutely. As if “Life” is not difficult enough, we tend to make it harder by being our own critic and not celebrating ourselves. Thank you for this post.

    • sharon April 25, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

      Thanks very much for taking the time to comment, Author. I love you point about “celebrating ourselves” – so important to remember.

      Sending a very big hug,

      Sharon

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