Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Have you ever stopped and noticed how you speak to yourself when no one is around? A good example is when you look in the mirror the first thing in the morning. Or, when you get a grade that is lower than what you expected.  Does it go something like this: You idiot! I can't do anything right! Figures. I'm so stupid, I'll never amount to anything! No one will ever love me.  It's called our internal critic or tape that keeps you stuck in a place of self-doubt.  Most often, it is the internalized voice of someone you grew up with such as a parent, care-giver, teacher or sibling.  When I say, internalized, I mean you have taken the message in as truth and replay it in your head, but, it does not originate from you! It is someone elses' belief system. That is important to remember and take note of. We all have some amount of the internal critic inside of us.  Sometimes it pushes us to be better, but mostly, it's there to keep you feeling bad about yourself.  When the critic is nonstop and keeps you continually doubting yourself rather than trusting yourself, it's time to SNAP OUT OF IT! 

One way I work with clients is by helping them to acknowledge and bring their awareness to this critical voice. One example is by challenging it's messages that repeat continually throughout the day and night.  Awareness of the critic is the first step to changing the dialogue you have with yourself.  Noticing when it surfaces and when it is the strongest is important to confronting it.  Here are some tips on how to stop the power of the internal critic:

1. Take note of the voice you use with yourself.

2. Is it doubting and critical?

3. How does it make you feel about yourself?

4. Are there any benefits to using this voice with yourself?

5. Is it kind and loving?

6. Use the opposite, i.e., No one loves me change to I am loved.

Once you've identified the voice, try challenging it. What I mean is, if it says I'm stupid, ask it how it knows. Respond by saying something like, I'm not stupid.  It takes practice to change a voice that has been around for a long time. I also recommend you make a list of the beliefs and messages your critical voice says to you and then write the opposite. It will take daily practice and commitment to changing the internal critic to one of doubt to trust.
Hang in there!