Negative Self-Talk, your ‘inner critic’, is one of the barriers we have in trying to thrive in life. We all have two little voices in our heads – the positive one who reminds us that we are capable and beautiful and enables us to thrive in life, and the negative inner critic, that shoots us down and blows up our self-esteem and self-confidence.
Unfortunately, for some of us, the Negative Voice seems to be louder more times that we would like. It prevents us from achieving a life that is thriving in all areas. We all have an inner critic who judges us, the voice that tells us we ‘aren’t good enough’, ‘pretty enough’,’ slim enough’, ‘wealthy enough’, ‘successful enough’ I’m sure you can keep adding to the list, but you get the picture.
Our inner critic is much harder on us than others. Negative life experiences happen to us all but they shouldn’t define us or shape our future.
Recently I’ve been reading Brooke Castillo’s Self-Coaching 101 – Use Your Mind – Don’t Let It Use You. She refers to the ‘negative spin cycle’ and how we can become slaves to our negative thoughts:
When you think a thought – you feel a FEELING. When you feel a feeling – you take ACTION OR NOT, because of how you FEEL. Your ACTIONS (behaviours) create your experience in the world and ultimately what your life looks like.
If you aren’t conscious of your negative thoughts, you are enslaved by them. I call this the ‘spin cycle’.
In order to thrive and grow, we need to break the ‘negative spin cycle’ and move forward rather than continually spinning around. We need to create a new habit of thinking and break the old patterns of the inner critic.
Negative Self-Talk – How to silence your inner critic
1. Self-Love and Acceptance
Unless we can accept ourselves for the person we are and love that person, we will never silence the inner critic. That doesn’t mean giving up. If we want to make changes about ourselves then we need to work positively to get to the place where you can actually look at yourself and know that you love that person who is looking back at you.
Do you really take time to check in with how you are feeling? Do you know what triggers the inner critic? Becoming aware of who you are, you thoughts, fears and dreams will provide the guidance you need to shut down the inner critic when it wants to have a conversation.
3. Soul Shares
I read about Soul Shares in Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini. Melissa describes Soul Shares as:
little whispers of love to nudge you back onto our path.
Soul shares could include positive quotes or thoughts that will keep you motivate or inspired.
Make a list of positive thoughts or ‘soul shares’, write them on post-it notes for around the house, or make a vision board of them. Reinforce the positive thoughts rather than encouraging the inner critic.
4. Letting Go
Most of us have regrets or hold grudges and wish we had done things differently in life. We can never move forward and thrive unless we let go of those negative feelings and make peace with them. Letting go can lift such a weight from our shoulders and life it is amazing how liberated you will feel.
5. Willingness and Commitment
Again, with anything we want to do in life we need to be willing to make changes if necessary and be committed to making the changes happen.
6. Stop the Self-Sabotage
We are sometimes our own worst enemy because we let the negative self-talk and inner critic sabotage our lives. Remember we can control the way we react to our thoughts and feelings.
A Quick Way to shut down your Inner Critic
When negative thoughts or the inner critic starts chattering away and putting you down. Stop the conversation, shut it down by:
- Taking a long deep breath
- Letting go of your thoughts
- Coming back to the present moment
- Reminding yourself that this beautiful, unique person is YOU
Do you have an ‘Inner critic’? What steps do you take to silence the negative self-talk?
In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘O’ is for Opportunity, Openness and Optimism. I do hope you will join me.
You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series. In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.
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Let’s Keep Sizzling!