Ever had a person just chatter away and chatter away and inside your head you are screaming, “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”?
I think most of us can relate to that at one time or another, or maybe lots of times. Of course, you can scroll through Social Media at any time and can get the same experience.
Many of you are much better than I am and are way too polite to actually yell at someone to “SHUT UP!”
There is, however, one voice that you need to tell to SHUT UP!
It’s the inner voice that is keeping you stuck in fear and isolation and ambiguity. It’s that voice that tells you:
- “You can’t”
- “You aren’t good enough”
- “You don’t deserve it”
- “You aren’t ready”
- “You don’t know enough”
- “It’ll never work”
- “That’s for others to do”
And on and on and on the list goes …
This voice is fear. It’s doubt.
Here’s the thing, listening to this negative voice of doubt and fear has never brought anyone joy or fulfillment.
Your inner critic will not lead you into success and achievement. It will never take you into greatness.
For some of you, this inner critic is absolutely crippling you with fear. It’s a voice that is screaming at you all day every day and you have a hard time hearing anything else. All of the positive, uplifting voices get drowned out by this critic and you find yourself beat down and discouraged. You live in the fear that this voice is correct and what is says is true. Even worse, you might actually believe it is true.
It’s time to tell the voice to …
I am fully aware that this is easier said than done.
Learning to silence this voice will lead you to find the joy and purpose that exists outside of the inner critic’s influence.
You need to hear that you can. You are good enough. You deserve the opportunity. You can achieve something great.
There are so many inspirational stories of people from all backgrounds and walks of life that have risen up and accomplished something of impact and notability.
So. Can. You.
The question then remains: HOW?
How do I silence the inner critic?
Like all life change scenarios, it starts with a decision. The decision that change is needed. After that, here are a few simple steps you can take to silence the inner critic.
FIND SOMEONE YOU TRUST
Not a one of us has a good perspective on ourselves. An outside voice will help us process what is true and what is fear.
Find someone you trust and let them speak into your life. And, believe what they have to say. If you find someone that is truly honest with you and doesn’t just try to pump you up all the time, you can trust the positive they tell you and not be wounded by any critical evaluation.
SEEK THE ROOT CAUSE
Most of us have some deep seeded issues that cause our current internal struggles.
Go on a journey and face what it is in you that brings you to have such a harsh inner critic and makes it so easy to believe.
This may require hiring a professional counselor or coach. You can even do this online now.
It could mean a deep personal dive into who you are through meditation, prayer, and research through books.
The resources available to you are vast. There are excellent podcasts that deal with the inner issues such as:
- Ian Crohn “Typology”: https://www.typologypodcast.com/podcast
- Margaret Robinson Rutherford “The SelfWork Podcast”: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-selfwork-podcast/id1166015598
- And many many more…
If you only deal with the surface, you will never solve the issue of the inner critic.
PURSUE THE POSITIVE
In no way am I suggesting you move into denial or delusion. This is also not just the “power of positive thinking” that was so popular for a time.
There is something to filling your space with more positive voices and interactions. There is plenty of negative in this world, you don’t have to seek it out.
We do have to seek out the positive though.
I don’t ignore the news. I do stay informed. However, I limit my intake and the form of news I ingest. I rarely watch any newscast from any source. Instead, I use an app that compiles the daily news in one place from a variety of sources. There, I can scroll through the headlines and blurbs and read the articles I want to find out more.
This has been a tremendous help! Before, when I would turn on any one of the news channels, I would find myself watching and watching and the negativity did have an effect. Here is the reality, the news wants you afraid and worried so you will keep watching. Advertisers work very hard to make you feel inadequate. They want you to feel that you are missing something so you will buy their product or service.
All of these, weigh you down. Finding positive things to counter act all of this makes a good difference.
DEVELOP THE HABIT OF GRATITUDE
A life that is truly grateful is one that is fulfilled. A life that is fulfilled is one that knows its worth. A life that knows its worth is one that has quieted the inner critic.
It’s amazing what happens once we start intentionally expressing gratitude for what we have and focus less on what we do not have. There is so much peace there.
Developing the habit of gratitude starts with two words, “Thank you.”
Just saying a genuine “thank you” to people is a great place to begin. Next is to say out loud the things in your life and in you that you are thankful for. Some call this an inventory of blessing. Others call this praise, worship, or thanksgiving.
Make it a scavenger hunt to look for the new things each day to be grateful for having or discovering or learning or growing.
Write these things down. Say them out loud. Let yourself hear you speak with gratitude instead of just frustration or weakness.
Like most everything else in life, the more you practice something, the better you become. The more you work to be grateful, the more grateful you will become.
The more grateful you become for your life and for what you have and who you are, the quieter and quieter the voice of the inner critic will become.
You can and should tell that critical, fear dominated voice inside you to “Shut Up!” You’ve got great things to do.
Share your thoughts and ideas to silence the inner critic in the comments section below. It just might help someone else.