Are you aware of how your inner dialogue is impacting you? When you are full of self-criticism, you aren’t just hurting yourself — you are hurting your relationships, reducing your resilience, and sabotaging your success. Let’s explore some ways I like to reframe my own inner critic (I call it my “mean brain”).
You shouldn’t aim to just reframe your inner critic, but also to get curious about WHY it’s getting activated and WHY it’s important to devote time and energy to reframing it.
Here are 10 helpful ways to reframe your inner critic to overcome fears, lack of integrity, self-doubt, not-enoughness, and comparisonitis.
10 HELPFUL WAYS
TAKE TIME TO ACTUALLY LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE AND LET YOURSELF TRULY ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING TO YOURSELF
Our brains have this funny way of doing things without us even realizing. What happens when you actually stop to acknowledge your inner voice? What tone does it have? What words does it use?
ASK YOURSELF WHY
The inner critic is a protective mechanism to help keep you safe from perceived harm or risk.
So, what are you afraid of? Why is your inner critic trying to protect you?
Sometimes, we’re afraid of succeeding – and the changes that will come from that, and that can activate our critic. Ask yourself if there’s anything you might be afraid of when you notice your inner critic getting activated.
RECOGNIZE HOW YOU WANT TO TALK TO YOURSELF
And compare that to how you currently talk to yourself.
Once you’ve intentionally listened to your inner voice, it will be beneficial to compare those thoughts with what you actually want to be thinking.
PRACTICE TALKING TO YOURSELF
Practice talking to yourself like you would talk to someone or something you love.
It’s going to feel strange at first and you might notice that being kind to yourself only amplifies the inner critic. Be patient with yourself.
HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL
When you discover a critical or non-beneficial thought, take a moment to notice how it makes you feel, and where you feel it in your body.
If you’re going to intentionally reframe your inner voice, you’re going to need to start pinpointing when you’re being self critical.
Next time you find you notice thoughts to be non-beneficial, pause and recognize your physical feelings. Does your chest feel tight? Do you have a lump forming in your throat? How is your breathing? How is your inner dialogue impacting your body?
What are some things that you like about yourself? What are things you admire in yourself?
If you have a hard time accessing those, try to identify one thing you can thank yourself for. You may find it helpful to write it down.
THOUGHTOUT YOUR DAY
Throughout your day, intentionally pause and ask yourself “How is this thought benefiting or protecting me?”
Are your thoughts actually sabotaging you from something good? Is your inner critic holding you back?
The majority of our thoughts are subconscious, so it’s important to intentionally stop and ask yourself where your mind is and how your inner dialogue is impacting you.
SHIFT YOUR LANGUAGE
Rather than thinking “I’m stupid.” Instead, say “I made a mistake, and mistakes are how we learn. I’m learning!” Rather than “I always share too much” say “When I overshare with people, I don’t like how it makes me feel. I’m going to practice my boundaries.”
When you recognize your negative inner voice, and intentionally shift it, you are rewiring and reframing how your brain will react in the future.
WRITE YOUR CRITICAL THOUGHTS OUT
Journaling can allow you to process your thoughts.
Sometimes, we’re not aware of just how hard we are on ourselves until we really SEE what it is that we’re saying in our heads. Since this can be activating to witness, you may want to put a time limit on this or make a plan for how you would answer or respond to what the inner critic is saying.
CULTIVATE SELF-COMPASSION AND PATIENCE
Recognize that learning to work with and reframe your inner critic takes time. The reframing process is messy and non-linear — it’s likely going to take time to notice a difference, and the journey isn’t going to be perfect, but it will be worth it.
REFRAMING YOUR INNER CRITIC CAN BE OVERWHELMING
You may find it beneficial to pick one of the reframes and focus on it for a week, then the next week add on another. You are worthy of self-love.
Self-criticism can lead to persistent sabotage of your potential for success. It’s possible that your inner voice is holding you back from success. Learn how to end your patterns of protection through my masterclass: Stop Protecting Yourself from Success in 4 Simple Steps.