How To Dial Down The Volume on Your Inner Critic

“How To Dial Down The Volume on Your Inner Critic”

I often ask my clients what they would choose to do, if there was zero chance they’d fail. Or no chance anyone would judge them or catch them out as an imposter. Often their answer is pretty different to their reality or the actions they are currently taking. I want you to be totally honest with yourself right now too. Do you have a mean inner critic that gets in the way of your freedom and happiness?

5 years ago, I was living a completely different life to the life I live now. My soul was hungry for something more than the pressure and monotony of the daily grind. I wanted purpose, prosperity, wealth and health – but my low confidence, comparison and imposter syndrome kept me feeling stuck and paralysed. It wasn’t until my mental and physical health hit rock bottom after a breakup and I was bed-bound for a month, that I realised how bad my situation had become. I began to work with a life coach to change my reality and from that point, I went on a transformation that saw me leave my career, move overseas and become an abundantly healthy, wealthy and happy entrepreneur.

Now I work with my own clients who struggle with stress, anxiety and an inner critic that has landed them at emotional rock-bottom. That mean voice can have devastating effects on how we feel and it’s the reason many women I work with describe themselves as “stuck”or “lost”. Perhaps your own inner critic is telling you that you aren’t good enough to be in the career you are, or that you’ll end up alone. Or maybe she shuts you down when you dare to think outside the box about your deep-seated dreams and desires. Perhaps she compares you to everybody else and says, “Who are you to do that?”

With a judgmental voice like this in your head, it’s no wonder so many women procrastinate, people please, self-sabotage or worry about failure or being judged. It’s no wonder so many of us are left scrolling social media with that gut-heavy feeling that we aren’t enough I have fabulous news for you though. None of that negative commentary is the real you. It’s false, made up voice designed to keep you inside of your comfort zone.

You get to choose who rents the master bedroom in your head though. That’s some precious real estate and not just anyone can live there. This voice that cripples you with her comparisons or tells you that you don’t belong – it is the voice itself that doesn’t belong. You are worthy of happiness and success, despite what your inner critic suggests and to help you, I’m going to share some impactful ways you can evict the nasty roommate in your head everyday. 

In order to evict this inner critic, we need to focus on amping up the volume on your much nicer mental roommate – your inner cheerleader. She hasn’t been around much lately, but she’s still on the lease. So how do you encourage and amp up the volume on the nice voice in your head? You need to get really intentional about it. You need to MAKE TIME every, single day for a few simple practices.

Exercise 1

Everyday for the next 4 weeks, write down 3-5 things that are amazing about you. Make a ritual of the process and push through any resistance. It’s much easier for us to focus on our weaknesses, but in honouring our strengths we shine a light on our greatness. Repeat this exercise everyday and for bonus progress, read your list aloud in the mirror every morning.

Exercise 2

Practice gratitude daily – make it a morning ritual and focus on all the stuff you have in your life to be grateful for, regardless of whether you’re failing, stressed or going through a challenge. When we come back to what we always intrinsically have to be thankful for, we start to rewire our brain’s filter to see the good, even when there’s tons of stress and negativity. Confident people have high self-esteem and a gratitude practice has consistently been evidenced to increase self-worth and esteem.

Your brain filters around 70,000 thoughts a day. It shows you what it thinks you want to see and ignores what is irrelevant to you. When you reprogram your mental filter for gratitude, better things start to appear and your life feels a lot better, plus you’ll feel a lot more resilient towards your inner critic.

Exercise 3

Carry a journal (or use your iPhone notes) and catch yourself when you hear your negative inner critic saying bad things to you. Write down everything she says throughout the day, whether it’s about your intelligence or your body or everything about you. Create an inventory of these “Negative Automatic Thoughts”. Pay attention to the negative thoughts that keep showing up. With awareness, we can start to exchange these with more empowering statements that go against the limiting belief. For example, if you find yourself often internalising the words “I am not good enough” you might exchange that for the statement “I am enough and I always do the best I can.”

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