‘If only you were smarter…’
‘You’ll never be accepted by them…’
‘You should give up now because you will never be successful…’
The way I used to talk to myself was severely harsh, no surprise my self-esteem was low and
confidence basically non-existent. When your inner dialogue is harsh, it’s usually because
you’re repeating things you heard from your parents or other authority figures when you were
growing up. My inner critic had the voice of my abusive mother. Listening to the harsh criticism discouraged me from trying and take the joy out of my life.
Break free from the voices in your head. Take a look at a variety of techniques that prove that
there’s more than one way to make peace with your inner critic.
This is how I learned to wrangle my critic by doing the following:
1. Seek distractions. Shift your attention elsewhere. Take a walk or read a book. Spend some
time doing anything that you enjoy.
2. Distance yourself. Turn down the volume by imagining that your inner critic is speaking to
someone else instead of you. Take any statement and replace the personal pronouns with a
3. Identify triggers. Give yourself advance warning. Figure out the situations where your inner
critic is likely to appear. You may be sensitive about first dates or criticism from your boss.
4. List your strengths. If you’re tired of hearing about your weaknesses, remember your
strengths. Make a list of the things you’re good at from baking bread to writing code.
5. Correct exaggerations. Your house won’t be condemned because you were too busy to
vacuum for a few days. Keep things in perspective by ensuring that your self-talk is accurate.
6. Use affirmations. Repeating positive affirmations can give you a boost when you’re feeling down. Browse online for ideas or invent your own wording.
7. Remember your worth. Being tough on yourself erodes your self-esteem. Shore it back up by telling yourself that you deserve to be happy and successful.
8. Build support. While you need to value yourself, it helps to have others in your corner too. Surround yourself with family and friends who make you feel positive about yourself and your
opportunities. It’s important to treat yourself with compassion, silence your critic and keep striving to reach your full potential.