Most of us are well familiar with the inner critic, that voice in our heads telling us we’re not good enough, we don’t have what it takes and something bad is going to happen if we take a step outside our comfort zone. While you can’t completely switch that voice off, you can make sure it doesn’t stop you from doing what you really want to do and here is how.
Create a persona
If your inner critic was a person, what would it look like? Would it be a man, a woman or a child? Maybe it’s an animal or a monster? Imagine as many details about your inner critic as you can. Give it a name. Creating a persona helps recognise this voice as something that comes from you, but is not the whole you and therefore, it’s not the ultimate truth.
Once you can see your inner critic as a separate persona, it’s easier to choose to dismiss what it says. It’s like getting advice from a friend: You’ll follow it if it works for you and you’ll discard it otherwise.
Know that your inner critic means well
The purpose of your inner critic is to protect you and keep you safe. That’s why ignoring the little voice is usually not a good idea – it will just get louder and more creative in devising ways to get your attention.
Instead, listen to what your critic has to say, but be discerning. Is there any evidence that this is true? Do you need a backup plan? Or is it safe to let your inner critic’s opinion go? Once you’ve made a decision, reassure your inner critic that everything is okay and move on in the direction you need to go.
Sounds crazy to be personifying and talking to voices in your head, doesn’t it? We all do it anyway, just not consciously. By hearing your inner critic out, you’re acknowledging and communicating with the part of you that wants to keep you safe, so that it feels reassured and allows you do your great work in the world.
Image via Pixabay