Taming Your Inner Critic

We all have an Inner Critic – that inner critical voice that keeps telling us we are not good enough, not worthy enough, not lovable, etc. This voice uses negative language and uses tools such as comparison, criticism, trying to correct us, and tell us that there is something wrong with us. Sometimes we use also it as our protection mechanism. For example, if we fear being rejected, we may use self-judgement to avoid being open and authentic, to “save us” from feeling rejected = feeling hurt.

The problem is that by doing this, we are creating even more problems, as we are rejecting our own existence of who we truly are. The more we are consumed by our critical voice, the less safe we feel, and the more disconnected from love we become.

Using affirmations, meditations, tapping, and other techniques may bring relief, but it usually only lasts for a while – until we get triggered by another person or situation that will send us back to our negative core belief about ourselves. So we need to address the underlying cause first, to understand that these negative beliefs about ourselves come from that part of us that feels hurt and unloved. We can then use affirmations, meditations, tapping techniques, etc AND bring in awareness at the same time to understand our painful story and the reason why we act and behave in certain situations, so we can then change that story and the meaning we gave to it. This then leads to using response rather than reaction – giving us a much healthier outcome.

The first step is to stop blaming ourselves. Awareness means we refrain from judgment, and instead we bring more self-love, self-compassion, and kindness to our life.

When we go to our stories and uncover layers of our trauma, we bring compassion and love, and we have the opportunity to make peace with our defence mechanism that we use to protect ourselves form being hurt. This process should always be soft and gentle.

Every time we hear our inner negative voice, we have the opportunity to pause, take a deep breath and check in with ourselves:

What is the reason I believe that?
What is the story behind it?
Is it true?
What valuable lesson can I find in this experience?
What can I see when I detach myself from it and look at it as an observer, rather than being a victim of the circumstances?
Our inner critic will never go away. That is just a part of being human. But the more you practise bringing more awareness, self-compassion, and kindness towards yourself, the less distracting this voice will be. We can learn to be our own loving parent, and learn to meet our needs that weren’t met in childhood, or in the best possible way. Because really, this voice is a scared part of us that needs more love and attention because it wants to feel safe. When we are able to stay detached as an observer, rather than identifying with it, we are able to offer ourselves compassion, understanding, and the love that we needed.

There is a tender, loving spirit that lives in all of us. When we are able to connect to it, we feel lovable and worthy, and we understand our true essence and how much value we bring to the world. The more we connect to this, the more we are able to recognize and remember the deeper connection to our loving essence, and let our inner critic walk their own path…

Kind words

Hanna, founder of The Sanctuary of Hearts

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