Have you ever had an idea, a dream, or a sudden burst of confidence to try something new, only to be reeled in by your internal voice that says, “Who do you think you are?”? All of a sudden we find ourselves in a tug-of-war between our confident, forward moving self and the other self – the one who holds us back by causing us to question our ability. You’ve heard those voices say things like:
You always start a new project and never finish it.
You tried something like this before and failed. Why do you think it will be different this time?
You didn’t grow up in a family that did things like this.
Don’t be so full of yourself.
What makes you think you can do this?
Over the course of a lifetime, we’ve been conditioned by real and imaginary voices. Chances are, we’ve internalized more negative than positive messages, leaving us with a very vocal inner critic.
In order to turn off the inner critic, you might want to try these ideas:
- Shift your inner critic messages to messages of accomplishment – whenever your negative voices show up, remind yourself of the positive qualities you possess.
- Evaluate the critical message. Is it true? Is there a bit of truth? Or is it a lie?
- Look yourself in a mirror and say, “Yes, this may be true about me, AND this is also true.” For example: “Yes, sometimes I do procrastinate and I am really productive when I put my mind to it.”
Just remember, when you hear the critical voice asking “Just who do you think you are?” you have the power to turn the volume up, down, or better yet, turn it off. Replace that negative voice with a supportive, positive one that speaks power into who you are.