We all have an inner voice. The inner dialogue, that narrates our life. The one that motivates us to be stronger, warns us of danger and corrects us when we make mistakes. It appears to have our best interests at heart however, without regular appraisals, our inner narrator can become destructive. It can be particularly nasty in times of high stress, casting clouds of doubt over our hard-earned confidence. If you fail to regulate your inner voice, it’s limiting advice can persuade you to turn down golden opportunities. Don’t let your inner voice do this to you.
How to know if your inner voice has become an inner critic
Is it causing you excessive stress, depression or anxiety? Is it causing you to procrastinate or avoid tasks, entirely? If you answered yes to any of these questions than your inner voice has become a problem.
How to shut your inner critic down
1.Listen to the voice
What exactly is it saying? Too many people try to run away from, or ignore their inner critic, when they should be exploring that contrarian voice, says Stacey Sargent, founder of Seattle, Washington-based Connect Growth and Development, and author of Inner Critic, Inner Success: Claiming Your Critic While Taming Your Success.
If it’s telling you to not apply for a role, because you don't have the requisite qualifications, than it could be saving your credibility, or, more typically, if you have the correct qualifications, than it’s a deeper issue of self doubt, which must be explored and resolved.
Once you get to the reason behind the criticism, you can deal with the underlying concern and stop it, once and for all.
2. Look at the precedence
Your inner critique is usually supported by anxiety, not evidence. Instead of listening to it’s concerns about why you’ll fail your new project, look at your string of past accomplishments (the hard evidence), telling you the contrary.
How can we expect to be perfect, all the time? If you’re berating yourself for messing up a presentation, instead, be compassionate. Think about how you would counsel someone close to you about such a misshap. You’d probably have empathy for the person, because we’ve all been there before. Talk to yourself with the same compassion you’d have for someone close to you.
Last but certainly not least, be mindful of how you speak to yourself. Make an effort to really scrutinse your inner dialogue, especially in times of high stress, as this is when your inner voice is most likely to spiral out of control. Remember you shouldn’t be making life harder for yourself. In times of high pressure you deserve kindness and support, so ensure that your voice is fulfilling your needs.