10 ways to manage your inner critic

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Constructive Self Awareness

  1. The inner critic is a voice of chastisement. Before you react, listen carefully. How does it speak and what is it saying? Does it speak truth? Acknowledging self-doubt and identifying means of change can quiet an overactive inner critic.
  2. Realize your inner critic is a voice within you, but is not the whole of you. It is often the echo of advice given long ago by parents, teachers, well-meaning friends, and even enemies. Let go of that which is no longer pertinent.
  3. Praise yourself. Each time your inner critic attempts to discount your ideas or skills, counter it by expressing a positive statement about yourself. Write it down and display it somewhere prominent so you see it often.
  4. The inner critic begins as a protector but can become a destroyer when it leads to self-punishment. When you feel your inner critic has become a stumbling block on the path of creative thinking, identify the underlying fear. Understand that avoiding vulnerability is not worth sacrificing creativity.
  5. Disregard what you 'should' have done. Comparing yourself to others means you are judging yourself according to standards that do not reflect who you are. Accept your individuality and the uniqueness of your actions.
  6. Your inner critic won't be able to exert itself when confronted by opposing voices. Spend time with people who boost your confidence. This can help you recognize positive aspects within yourself that you might not otherwise notice.
  7. Talk Back. When your inner critic remains unchallenged, you have no choice but to listen. Instead of accepting its assertions, examine them, accept only those that are valid, and disregard the rest.
  8. Become the Observer. Looking at yourself from the perspective of an objective third party can help you root out illogical criticism. Your inner critic tends to blow fear out of proportion, but you have the power to see beyond that fear by appraising it at a distance.
  9. Dwell on Appreciation. It can be difficult to notice gratitude when overcome with inner criticism. Instead of dwelling on what you have not accomplished, focus on the kind words and appreciation you receive for the tasks you do complete each day.
  10. Turn your inner critic into a life coach. The inner critic can be a source of positive feedback and helpful guidance when you begin to replace derision with constructive criticism.

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