I have lived my whole life with an inner voice that would judge me, berate me and well, was generally mean to me. Come to find out that there is an inner voice is present in everyone. Whew!! I am not alone.
I know that I am not crazy or having auditory hallucinations. I know that everyone has an inner voice. Sometimes it is beneficial and sometimes it can be critical, judgmental, tormenting voice in their head. Growing up mine was the latter.
I call that self-talk voice in my head, my inner critic. Growing up I always was subjected to negative self-messages in my head which came front and center into my conscious thoughts constantly. I attempted to fight my inner critic by ignoring those messages. It never worked. The more I fought it the louder it would become. I took the statements to heart and felt I was just not good enough or not capable. I was never able to quiet my inner voice down. That inner voice was always loud and clear, and I couldn't just shut out its mean messages. Why? Because it struck at my heart by evoking so much emotion in me. I could never tame it. My inner critic controlled me and my life, I didn't control it.
What I learned later in life is that I didn’t just naturally hate myself. The content feeding my inner critic came from what I was told about me from my parents, siblings and other people in my life.
You're not alone
Your inner critic or your self-talk voice in your head which never seems to be silent or go away is actually normal. It doesn't go away because believe it or not your inner voice is you talking to you. Your inner critic or your voice in your head for some reason happens to be very negative toward you because your beliefs about yourself are negative. The way it talks to you in your head is just the way you feel about or doubt yourself. If it is negative is because you believe you are not worth be positive.
Your inner critic expresses critical, doubtful, hurtful, judgmental, and negative statements as well as using mean and ugly words at times.
Is these bad? Yes. On one hand this process is negative because you constantly second guess or doubt your decisions 24/7. On the other hand this voice is only attempting to protect you in a weird way and keep you from harm or doing wrong.
Where does it get its material?
Your inner critic’s content comes from your core beliefs which formed about you and your character, during your life experiences. The reason these caustic core beliefs and statements stick in your subconscious mind is because of your emotional attachments you had to someone or something. Your core beliefs may also been formed and embedded into your subconscious mind because of an emotional charge you felt in a past situation you experienced.
Do Your Inner Critic Statements Control Your Life?
Through my years of coaching, I found that my clients really identified with the term “inner critic.” In asking them to write down all the statements his or her inner critic said to them, I got a litany of nasty comments which he or she heard in their head. The critical internal voice or “the judge” depletes our energy, diminishes our self-worth, contributes to hopelessness, makes you sad and distracts us from taking positive steps.
The inner voice as a judge: condemns, punishes, and berates creating negative self-messages.
Here are Twelve (12) common inner critic statements. Can you identify with any of these?
You don't deserve anything.
You are a loser.
You will never amount to anything.
You are hopeless and less than others.
You will never have what you want.
You're not worth it.
No one will ever want you.
You do everything wrong.
You will amount to nothing.
No one will ever want you.
You're a bad person and there's no hope for you.
The Joe Torre Story
I recently watched a story on Joe Torre. I didn’t know it, but he grew up in an abusive home with an abusive father who criticized him endlessly. Even with his dark past, he worked hard in sports and achieved many awards. He attained MVP as a player 8 times, 9 times he was an all-star player, and he received one MVP batting title. Joe went on to become one of the most winning coaches in the history of baseball winning 2,326 games, and he won 4 World Series games as a coach. He stated that the most important aspect of coaching was to make sure his players respected him.
So even with elements of criticism touted at from an early beginning, there is the incredible power of self that can triumph over adversity and move toward the position of a positive outlook. You do not have to live with the negative messages from your inner critic. Change can be had. Construct new thoughts, practice them, and most of all, connect an emotion with your new thoughts. Then live it. Make these new thoughts your own.
How to Cultivate an Inner Voice to be a Supporter
In other words, if you consciously change the content of your inner critic’s then your thoughts will change. You can do this by recognizing your inner judging voice and denying the old messages and beliefs it expresses. Therefore changing your inner critic into your inner supporter by making your inner voice your friend, not enemy. First change your mindset to accept your inner voice.
Then accept these beliefs.
Believe you can find a solution and accomplish what you want.
Believe you can have faith in yourself.
Believe you can do anything.
Believe there is hope.
Believe you are a winner.
Believe you are worthy and good enough.
5 Tips on turning your inner voice to positive
1. Stop ignoring your inner voice
Get to know your inner critic, its tone of voice, and its intentions. Ignoring it doesn’t reduce its influence or make it go away. Use your observer self. Listen to what your inner voice says. Listen as though you are another person, from a third party perspective as if you are hearing it on the radio. Write each statement down. Recognize whether each statement is an old criticism which is no longer true or an outright lie which was said to you at some point in your life by other people.
The most impactful criticisms tend to come from your closest family and friends to whom you were emotionally attached. Determine whether some of those negative statements were meant to hurt you, or were they trying ensure your emotional and physical safety or possibly to make you a “stronger person.” Know that your mind does not have or express feelings, it just records the words, forms beliefs about you, and repeats them back through your inner critic.
Let your mind help you validate whether the content of your self-critical voice is true or false. Next to each statement note who in your life said it and the situation or event where it occurred. The more you understand about each statement, the less power and influence the critical content has. Discover proof of why each criticism is wrong and unfounded. Once you find the real truth of each, you will create a crack in its content and dissipate its power and influence.
2. Correct each inner critic statement
Once you have completed #1, take another piece of paper and make a list of positive statements that correspond to each negative statement. This list will counteract each bit of critical content in those original critical statements. This new list is intended to increase your confidence, self-esteem, and value in yourself by changing the content of your inner voice.
It can be as simple as creating a new content statement from “You deserve nothing,” to “You deserve to be worthy,” or “You deserve to look at yourself in the mirror and love who you are.” Once you have created these new statements, repeat the statements to yourself ten times a day for 90 days. Also make a promise that you will do them every day, and set up a schedule.
The trick to success is to embed these new positive statements by repeating them with emotion. If you repeat them without emotion, the statements will not embed themselves.
Once you develop your new positive statements and begin repeating your new list daily, you need to give it life. You give them life by believing in them and manifesting their content into your life.
3. Do not falter on your consistency
Be mindful of your deep obligation for your plan of action. Follow through daily by repeating your new list of positive statements for 90 days. You need to accept and change your mindset.
Your new mindset should be positive. Remember that you are in charge of yourself. You are in command of what you believe about yourself, how you think about yourself, how you feel about yourself, what your capabilities are, and knowing that you will perform successfully.
Best results can be achieved by keeping track of how many times you repeat your new list on each day. Track yourself by keeping a journal of your progress. That way you will be able to see that you are following through on your commitment. You will notice the changes that are occurring and how you feel, day after day for 90 days. Keeping track of what you do daily will help you to recognize what you are doing that works and when you fall off in your commitment. When you have mindfulness about what is happening, it will give you motivation to stay on track.
4. Surround yourself with people who think positive, are supportive of you, and make you feel comfortable
Be around people who see and experience you in a positive light. Seek out people who support your positive efforts and mindfulness and have the same vision of you that you now have. Let people who care about you reflect the real you back to you. Start hanging out with people who could use support and need your positive reflection back on them. Practice the balance of receiving and giving positive content to each other. Live in a positive light.
5. Earn respect from your inner critic by expressing your personal authority and power
Understand that your inner critic has been attempting to protect you, but the content from formed core beliefs was feeding your inner critic a steady diet of critical, doubtful and negative content from past experiences.
It is your personal authority … don’t let your inner critic influence your life or the content of your thoughts. Earn respect from your mind by forming your own beliefs and thoughts about yourself. You have that power. Once you decide this, the rest is pretty much practice, practice, more practice and patience.
If you follow these suggestions above, you can positively alter the content of your inner critic and the change will alter your thinking to positive. Changing your inner self talk to positive will change your self talk into an inner sponsor. You can also gain mental peace, calmness, and support resulting in a more positive and fulfilled you, therefore your brave new vision of yourself will manifest in your life.