How To Manage Your Inner Critic

The Coronavirus has thrown the world into a new way of living and thinking. The emotional, physical, mental economical and financial state has and will be stressed further. We are going through so much as a collective right now.

Yet everyone’s journey and hardships are different with some of us left feeling totally alone and scared for what the future holds.

As if this isn’t difficult enough, during these times of isolation, our inner critics have a way of becoming louder than ever.

Your inner critic can be the most brutal bully of all. Critical inner voices often morph to highlight internalised feelings of lack of security and nourishment. Stressful times shine a spotlight on these internalised feelings, heightening our general sense of anxiety. It taps into your deepest, darkest fears, your vulnerabilities or hang ups and pokes at them with a big stick. You would stand a friend or colleague talking to you like that so why should you let your inner voice?

Although your inner voice is brutal at times, it’s important to recognise that it’s a mouthpiece for your inner psyche which needs to be met with understanding, compassion and inner healing.

Most people go on day by day trying to drown out those inner niggles, but they have a habit of rearing their head when you least need them; when you are stressed, emotionally exhausted and generally feeling low.

So how do we address our inner voice so that this negative playground bully is snuffed out of our thoughts.

The first step is tuning into what they are trying to tell us and acknowledge it. For me, if I have a reoccurring negative thought rattling around in my head, I tend to write it down.

I will then make a list of the reasons why I am feeling this way and all of the negative connotations that go with it. Now that you have acknowledged your inner voice, take a positive from it. If there is an element of truth to the thought, then start jotting down what you can do to overcome this feeling. When doing this exercise, it is important to set goals which are realistic and achievable.

For me, my negative thought right now is that I am not achieving enough.

First of all, I need to work out what aspect I feel I am not achieving in. Is it business, family, relationships, health and wellbeing, fitness, education?

I have identified it’s related to business. So, I list my priorities and what I would like to achieve in the coming months. Now there is no point in me stating that I want to become an MP! First of all, I have NO ambition to become an MP and secondly, I have no experience. This is an unrealistic and unfair goal for me to set as it is not likely to happen! I own a natural home fragrance business, so I assess my business and list where I can improve. When you are doing this exercise, be sure to give equal consideration to what you HAVE achieved to date. You can do this for any aspect of your life and trust me, you will be surprised how many wonderful things you have done that have gone unpraised. At this point be kind to yourself and take time to celebrate your achievements.

Doing this exercise should not only stop the incessant negative tune of the roundabout bully but will also set you on a clear path of where you feel you should be headed as well as a spring in your step and a pat on the back, because, ‘hey, you are doing a pretty darn good job as it is!’

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