We have tons of thoughts every minute but when these thoughts are consistently critical and judgmental of ourselves (i.e. how we’ve failed yet again) then it restricts our ability to live more fully and enjoy our lives. An intense and relentless Inner Critic can lead to social anxiety, perfectionism, rigidity and depression.
Become More Aware Of Your Inner Critic:
1. What is the Inner Critic?
It’s a part of us that consistently judges, criticizes, compares, condemns and attacks us and as a result limits our ability to live fully in the present moment.
2. Where does it come from?
It can come from being judged by our parents, peers, authority-figures, religious leaders, politicians etc.
It has a protective function, to help us avoid rejection, embarrassment, failure, and hurt.
3. What words does it use, if any?
Sometimes there are no words but rather a felt sense of worthlessness.
Sometimes it’s on auto-pilot so it’s difficult to recognize its message.
If often not only says, “You’ve failed,” but “You are a failure.”
Recognize the language it uses and how intense it is.
In summary, take a moment to consider what you criticize yourself the most for, where you learned this behavior, what is true versus what is judgement, and how you can build a healthier relationship with your Inner Critic. Use this Inner Critic Worksheet for assistance: