We all hear it—that voice in our head that feels compelled to judge every single thing we do. So annoying!
For many of us, the dialogue we have with our inner critic every day is painful, frustrating, and downright degrading at times.
But oddly, all that judgment grew out of our conscious and unconscious memories of fear and failure from childhood on. If you reflect on it, you may actually find one such memory.
I used to call my inner critic Betty Blocker.
She was a nagging, pessimistic, naysayer who always seemed spewing her negativity just when I needed an influx of positivity. She was an “inhibitor.” Inevitably what she had to say was all about “not,” “can’t,” and “won’t,” but I refused to let her stop me and I found ways to convert my inner critic into my loyal ally.
Now I like to call her Betty Booster because she gets me pumped up for anything.
So how do you turn your own inner critic around? The trick is to love her. It sounds impossible. I know. But try seeing her as a loyal ally and not the enemy. After all, she is YOU. So just like you would with any other person you love, give her some grace, embrace the good AND the bad in her. In order to do that, let’s talk about five reasons to love your inner critic.
1. She actually cares about you—a lot.
It might be hard to believe, but all that criticism is really her way of protecting you and trying to keep you out of what she perceives as a bad situation. She’s like that tactless, overzealous friend who thinks they know what’s best for you and discourages you from doing anything new. She wants to keep you from taking any risk that might end up getting you hurt. Let’s be honest, the way she goes about it kinda sucks but her intentions are good.
2. She can make you better—at everything.
When your inner critic raises an objection, try not to cut her off or ignore her. It’s practically impossible anyway! The more you ignore her, the louder she gets. Let her say her piece and then explore what she is trying to do. Essentially, use her as your editing tool. Is she making any valid points? Is this a situation where caution might be a good idea? Are you making good choices for yourself? Do you need more information? Does your work need refining? Don’t argue with her; just use that hesitant “pause” as an opportunity to assess your plan, your actions, and what you want. You may even surprise yourself! That kind of critical, reflective thinking is actually what takes an idea, or in this case your life, from “good” to “great.”
3. She knows you better than anyone else.
You may not want to admit it, but your inner critic knows you better than anyone else. She knows the real you—not what you show the world but the whole you, the beautiful mess. That’s why she can be so damaging when she’s allowed to freely roam in our thoughts, but it’s also why she can be your loyal ally if you leverage her feedback to find your strengths and opportunities for growth
4. Loving her puts YOU back in control.
As long as you are arguing with her or allowing her to run over you and bring you down, your inner critic has the reins. She is steering your destiny. When you embrace her and force her to use her powers for good, you’ll be able to calm her negativity and take back your life. Love is powerful, not just in romance, but in how you love yourself too. By loving her, you can train her to speak to you lovingly.
5. She can help you achieve your goals!
Having your inner critic on your side will definitely increase your happiness. Here's something you may not know, she can also help you achieve your goals. That's right! When you successfully convert her into your loyal ally, she will be by your side encouraging you to make healthier choices, stay motivated, and be the best you can be. Now, if that's not the best reason to love her, then I don't know what is!
If you’re ready for a more in-depth exploration of how to convert your inner critic, join me for my free video series, “How To Tame Your Inner Critic” launching in July! We’ll look at where our inner critics come from, how to make them treat us better, and transformational activities to help get that girl on the right track.
See you there!