A good friend of mine recommended that I listen to the podcast episode entitled The Inner Critic by From the Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl. The host of the podcast is Rachel Brathen who was born in Sweden and now lives in Aruba (Yes! ARUBA!)! This was my first time listening to her podcast and although it is geared towards those of us who love yoga – the message from this episode on the influence of your inner voice, can resonate with anyone!
What does your inner critic say?
The title of this episode : The Inner Critic captivates the attention of those of us who are constantly battling with the inner voices in our head. The first aspect of the episode is a number of women sharing what Rachel calls the inner critic. Their inner critic preys on their deepest vulnerabilities and fears! You can hear it in their voices as they hold back their tears & tell their stories. Unfortunately these thoughts can be created by family members, teachers, bosses or even friends who enjoy bringing up our insecurities.
I can relate with the idea of having a critic as my inner voice! Mine says things like – You’re not good enough, Not skinny enough, Your friends don’t really like you, Don’t try to chase your dreams – you will fail, & Don’t be too happy – bad things are coming! The worst part about your inner critic is it tricks you into thinking that these bad thoughts are actually true. Take a moment and think – What does my inner critic say?
There are two things I’d like to point out about this exercise. First of all, the inner voice of most of these women said the exact same thing: You’re not good enough. And this was true regardless of age, nationality or background. Most of us are actually battling the same negative thoughts in our own lives. You are not as alone as you think.
Secondly, you and I would never say what our inner critic says to us, to our best friend. Never ever. So why do we say it to ourselves? We should be our own cheerleader, we should always think the best of ourselves. And yet!! We tear down who we are repeatedly with our thoughts. Why do we do this to ourselves? Instead let’s bask in all of the good parts of what makes you, you & me, me!
What does your inner best friend say?
The second aspect of the episode is Rachel asking the women what the best friend version of their inner voice would say. It’s all the nice things you would tell your best friend if he or she came to you with their insecurities.
Rachel points out how much easier our lives would be if we spent more time listen to the positive version of our inner voice, instead of the inner critic. Mine would say things like: I am enough in spite of my imperfections or my friends do love me! Positive statements that can counter negative thoughts when they come my way.
How do we conquer the inner critic?
Think about how much your inner voice controls your actions, your relationships and your emotions. It can influence every aspect of your life. The key is not only being able to recognize what your inner critic is saying to you but also doing something about it. Share these thoughts with your squad, those people you know you can trust. Someone who can talk down the inner critic and help you bring forth your inner best friend. Use inspirational podcasts/YouTube videos/books to build up a positive version of your inner voice, so when those self sabotaging thoughts come up, you have enough arsenal to fight back. Another tip is to write down some positive affirmations and bring them out in those moments when you’re feeling low and engulfed by your inner critic.
What does your inner critic say to you? How can your inner best friend counter that? Share this post with your squad & have a conversation about your thoughts. Find a way to build up the positive thoughts and let me know how it goes! If you have other ideas on how to silence the inner critic, please share it in the comments below.
All the best until next time!