In part one of this series we looked at how to identify your inner critic’s pattern and covered the rational rebuttal process in part two to counter the voice of your inner critic. In this part we’ll cover how to strengthen your positive voice and take a more balanced view of things in your life. There are two ways that you accomplish this: internally and externally.
Are you aware of how frequently your inner critic steps in to drive your thoughts and feelings? For some people, recognizing the critic’s voice is easy, but for others criticism has become second nature. Once you catch the self-criticism of the inner critic take note of it (without judging yourself for it). You are working to break the criticism cycle, so you do not want to criticize yourself for being critical or not making the progress you desire right away. By noting this critical voice without judgement you are starting to isolate and extricate the inner critic. It enables you to begin to move this critical voice from center stage in your mind and reduce its volume.
Once you’ve recognized your inner critic, you can go through the rational rebuttal process explained in part two of the series. This will help you identify positive ideas or counter-arguments to the inner critic’s position that you’ve overlooked or minimized. In addition, it is helpful if you can write down your “wins” of the day each evening. These can be positive interactions, a small step forward on a work or personal task or a reduction of a problematic behavior you are looking to change. Find that silver lining! You can also analyze the things that didn’t go well and reframe them as opportunities for future growth. These steps help to strengthen the more positive and balanced inner voice.
Another way to counteract the inner critic is to bring people into your life that are supportive and positive. For many people the critical voice in their head is actually the internalized voice of an abusive parent, difficult sibling or a bully from grade school who criticized them for years. For some, achieving balance means limiting their exposure to toxic family members or relationships to open space in their life for others who will uplift and support them.
Spend more time with people who energize you and leave you feeling more confident and positive. Spend less time with those that leave you feeling drained, frustrated, angry and depressed. You need to internalize experiences and messages from these positive supportive people to further help you reduce and extricate the negative ones that have been there for years.
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