It’s mean and it’s nasty and you wouldn’t talk to your loved ones like that. Yet you talk like that to yourself – and you might not even be aware of it.
Most people don’t realise how poisonously active this inner voice can be. Research tells us that we have around up to roughly 60,000 thoughts a day, with around 80% of those thoughts being negative.
In other words, we are pretty much negatively wired in order to survive.
So it’s crucial to be aware of what you are saying to yourself – by tuning into your self-dialogue and paying attention to that running, internal commentary.
Some signs your inner critic is getting too much airtime:
- You compare yourself a lot to others, and generally fall short.
- You blame yourself for negative situations.
- You are never satisfied with achievements.
- You have impossibly high standards.
- You struggle to accept compliments.
- You find yourself defensive in the face of feedback.
How to silence your inner critic:
Compassion, compassion and more compassion!
Instead of ‘I really messed up that project at work today’, try replacing it with: ‘I was tired after not sleeping well last night but still managed to get that project done today.’
Watch the tone of your inner voice – is it harsh…perhaps critical? Try substituting a gentler, more supportive voice, the way you would talk to a loved one when you are encouraging them.
Recent studies show that retraining your mind to think more compassionately contributes to lower levels of self-criticism, higher levels of compassion and a better capacity to relax – all of which is good for both our minds and our bodies.
Give it a go, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!