Silence that BEAST!
Do you catch yourself saying “I blew it” or “I can’t believe I just did that?” “I’m too old” “I’m not good enough.” Does your brain start to rehash all of your mistakes and wrongdoings? When you succeed in something do you breathe a sigh of relief versus being full of joy at your accomplishment?
Some people have stronger inner critics than others. Many people when they have a big success the achievement for them doesn’t feel genuine. It’s their inner critic that squashes their joy and leaves them feeling fruitless. The self-critic in you is harmful to your sense of well-being and needs some help.
Self-affirmations are a good place to start. This involves redirecting our thoughts to our strengths and talents. This is a great start to re-training your brain in a positive direction- but it takes dedication and work. You can start with when you hear your inner critic bashing you switch your thinking to that amazing dinner you made last night, the wonderful organizational skills you have, the way you love other people, your drive, tenacity, etc.
Counter examples- In the face of self-affirmations your brain will provide you with many counter examples, ”but wait, your house is a mess your organization skills suck!” This is where discipline must come in and as much as I don’t like labels this is a great place to label your inner critic. The self- talk needs to switch immediately to “that’s just my inner critic again, no big deal, it’s about recognizing and letting go.
Self- compassion- Not many people practice this but it’s important for a happy life. The fact is NO- ONE is perfect and we are all a little insecure. Recognizing this is important for self-care. Too often we think what other people are thinking of us and comparing ourselves to others in a degrading way. Being aware that everyone is “figuring it out” is a self-compassionate thought. Accepting the fact that YOU and everyone else grow in unique ways and your journey is special. A great exercise here is imagine you were a dear friend of yours and that friend is going through what you’re going through. How would you treat them and what would you say to them? Now, go ahead and say those same things to yourself.
Take a break from social media- social media in and of itself is a direct path to yourself critic. I learned a long time ago that intermittent breaks from social media provides breathing room for negative thought patterns. As a matter of fact, I personally take at least three social media breaks a year which can be anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks per break. During that time, I go hard on inspirational books, personal growth such as goal setting, personal care behaviors (eating dinner in a calm environment, more exercise, researching healthy products, etc.), and mental health exercises (grounding, meditation, nature walks, etc.)- These are just examples. Social media breeds the space for self-comparison and self-doubt and takes up WAY too much of our time- time spent being productive!
Your goal is to act like the person you want to be so your brain starts to believe it. Of course, you have to have a vision of who that person you want to be is. Imagine for just a moment who you want to be. Do you want to be happy and carefree? Healthy and energetic? Positive and loving? All of these? In order to move forward you must be moving towards something- get your vision clear- write it down and look at it every day.
If you practice these things above you are well on your way to making incredible long-lasting change to your inner critic and the narratives you create in your own life. And this my friends is what’s called “Alignment.”