Studies have shown that of our daily thoughts, a staggering 80% are attributed to negative thoughts. Even more shocking? 95% of those thoughts are repeating themselves day after day.
That’s enough to bring your entire day to a screeching (and somewhat depressing!) halt.
If we allow it, our Inner Critic can take over, running wild with fault-finding and disparaging thoughts.
So, what exactly is the Inner Critic? The critical inner voice is a ‘well-integrated pattern of destructive thoughts toward ourselves and others. The nagging “voices,” or thoughts, that make up this internalized dialogue are at the root of much of our self-destructive and maladaptive behavior. It is experienced as thoughts within your head. This stream of destructive thoughts forms an anti-self that discourages individuals from acting in their best interest.’
Our negative thought patterns – the Inner Critic, can come from all sorts of places: past hurts, pains, and judgments from which we haven’t healed. These past injuries can come from caregivers, peers, teachers – adults who are or have been of influence to us – or even from our own childhood traumas or experiences.
The Inner Critic can cause our thought train to run right off the tracks when we start entertaining such beliefs as:
- I’m not pretty, smart, or talented enough
- My personality isn’t fun or exciting
- Oh, I could never do that
- I’m not popular, and I just don’t fit in
- The negativity list could go on and on, couldn’t it?
Do any of these ring true for you? They sure do for me. I can recall my very own Inner Critic, all the way back to my teenage years, when the self-doubt and internalizing really began. Some days, it would follow me around like a dark cloud, feeding the negative self-talk and condemnation. Some days, it still does.
So, what steps can be taken to silence the Inner Critic or the voice of negativity over our lives?
- Begin to have an awareness of your thoughts
- Take power over the negative thoughts; discard the old and replace them with new truths
- Stop rehearsing and ruminating on those thoughts
- Think about the advice you would give a friend if they had these critical thoughts. What would you say to them? Remind yourself gently of the same.
- Replace critical thoughts with truthful statements. Balance acceptance with self-improvement
- And remember: they are your thoughts – so you can choose how to handle those thoughts. You can silence the Inner Critic.
Where do you find yourself struggling with your Inner Critic today?
What steps do you most need to focus on in order to combat the critical inner voice and begin to replace those thoughts with new truths?
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2