Inner Critic is one of the most universal parts of the human psyche, meaning we all have it.
It has its function and purpose for you for sure (if you ask you'll hear it), but where the problem occurs is when we identify with that critical voice as being ourselves and believe what it's saying is the truth.
Harsh, self-critical thoughts are said to be a major cause for depression. So it's really important to get a handle on your Inner Critic before it gets a handle on you.
When we hear thoughts in our head such as "You don't have it in you/This will never work out/You should've handled that waaay better/You're lazy/Do something about your body already/etc", we usually take them at face value and believe they're the truth.
This of course brings us down, who wouldn't be discouraged believing those things about themselves or their life?
And then the Critic adds more logs to the fire by something like "You should be able to cope with this better, you're just too sensitive."
I mean - who wouldn't be depressed by a beating like that?
However, if you take a step back, and don't believe these thoughts to begin with, you stand a chance of retraining your Critic and feel and do much better as a result.
In stepping back, you notice that you are not your thoughts.
There's a central place of awareness within you, from where you have the capacity to observe your thoughts and perceive all the different parts of you, including the Inner Critic.
And being in that aware space, you can feel that you're SEPARATE from that Critic.
Separating doesn't mean pushing it away. Rather, it's acknowledging its presence, perspective, even its attempt at helping you out (each part of us always has a function in our lives, albeit their methods are often misguided), and realising that you are separate from it.
And the second thing to notice is that:
Your thoughts aren't the truth. And therefore, you don't have to believe everything you think.
When I first heard this it put so many things into a different light, a much more empowering light for me.
Below are a few practical steps on how to tame your Inner Critic, that disparaging voice in your head that stops you from feeling and living at your best:
Really listen to your thoughts, so you can spot them when they come. Keeping track of them (written down) is helpful. Too often we're not even aware of our thoughts and that's how they can totally influence how we feel and act.
2. CATCH YOURSELF
When you hear the thoughts, remember that you don't have to believe every thought you think because it's not the truth. (This immediately puts you in a more powerful position where you can *choose* what to believe.)
Remember that you are not your Inner Critic, it's only one perspective within your mind. This creates separation already. Then strengthen it by creating some DISTANCE between you and your Inner Critic. Imagine the Critic being located outside of you, to one side, not taking the same space as You (in your central aware place), and really FEEL that you are separate.
These 3 simple steps will create the necessary distance from your Inner Critic, so you can then look at its statements more objectively, and re-frame them in a more compassionate way.
When you create separation between you and your Inner Critic, you will more easily separate from what it's saying too. You won't as easily take its viewpoints as proof of your inadequacy, but rather as just one perspective that you can choose to consider or disregard, depending on how constructive it is.
You can then start to think of what else you would rather believe about yourself and your life. And look for evidence of *that* being the truth. This will be so much more empowering, and will help you create the life you really want to live, feeling good about yourself and your path in life.
I go deeper into the Inner Critic and how to transform it, in my 1:1 and group work.