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What’s holding you back from claiming and living a calm life?

Turn Down the Volume on Your Inner Critic What’s holding you back from claiming and living a calm life? Chances are the answer is, “YOU.”

You’re a smart woman. You know everything you’re “supposed to do.”

You’ve tried countless diets and exercise programs. You’ve ready up on meditation and journaling and you’ve probably been successful at some point in taking calming yourself and controlling your overwhelm.  But you keep coming back to old habits whether it’s self sabotage or blaming others.

You put yourself last because something in your head persuades you to make yourself the lowest priority.

There is a voice inside each of us that judges everything we do. It’s our Inner Critic and that bitch is loud and unruly. She stops us from being our best self by sowing seeds of doubt and by overwhelming us with a list of failures that drowns out our success.

Newsflash: all that negative self-talk is just noise.

So let’s talk about how to turn the volume down on your Inner Critic, shrink the noise. Until you deal with the inner dialogue, you’ll never maintain lasting calm in your life. It sounds daunting. It sounds like years of therapy. Stop complicating things!

These three principles will help you get a handle on your noisy Inner Critic and turn her from your enemy into your ally: self-awareness, self-love, and self-respect.

Self-awareness

Always begin with truth. Brutal honesty is the best policy when it comes to your Inner Critic. She feeds on fear and guilt and those negatives thrive in a secretive environment like mold in a dank basement.

Most women hide their perceived failures, they swallow a whole lot of shame.

Shame feeds your Inner Critic and when she is full, she is loud.

Sadly, we pretend we are fine. We gloss over the truth.  We never admit to struggling.

But all that hiding and shame doesn’t fix the problem.

Every day is a new opportunity to start over. Make yourself a promise. Promise to be totally honest with yourself.

Self-love

Once you pull the blindfold off and see yourself, as you truly are, you are ready for the single most important tool for turning down your Inner Critic. Loving yourself.

That’s right. I’m talking total embracement of the imperfectly perfect creature who is you.

I’m talking self-love.

“Self-love” has gotten to be such a buzzword. It’s so overused these days that the word alone can be a turn-off. For me the word “self-love” sparks images of self-help books, hushed, therapy-speak voices, and don’t get me wrong throw a bit of it into the mix because we’re covering all bases, but self-love isn’t a “feeling.” It’s an action.

Self-love is fearless action.

It is passionate and total and extreme. Don’t you deserve to be the recipient of that kind of love? Don’t you deserve to be totally embraced, fears and all? Shouldn’t we demand that from ourselves?

Your Inner Critic is really just a mass of insecurity. She is all your fear and guilt balled up and given a voice. When you love yourself you calm her down. You take away the fuel that drives her to be so loud so instead of beating you up she can inspire you to go further, push harder, and be more.

Consider all the things that make you who you are.

Chances are the list doesn’t begin with “a nice legs” or “great abs.” I bet that list begins with things like “compassion” or “a great sense of humor” or “loyalty” or “a killer work ethic.” And the negatives that matter aren’t things like “a muffin top” or “cellulite.” They are things like “short tempered” and “judgmental.”

Who you are is not what you look like.

Self-respect

To get your Inner Critic under control you have to love yourself enough to treat yourself like a friend.

We value our friends not because of what they look like but because of who they are. We value their ideas and feelings and what they add to our lives. We treat them with respect because we love them.

When you get right down to it, you are your best friend. You are the person who is with you in the great times and in the bad times. You know everything about you. You never leave you. So doesn’t it seem reasonable that you should respect that relationship?

You owe yourself at least the same love and care you would give any other person who stood by you the way you do.

Try considering your Inner Critic your really loud friend with no filter. You know the type. She has an opinion about everything and she never thinks before she speaks. Sometimes she even hurts your feelings with her brutal honesty, but ultimately her intentions are all for your good. So you learn to call her out when she oversteps, and you rein her in when she isn’t helping.

That’s the kind of self-respect your Inner Critic needs from you to help turn down her volume. Your Inner Critic can be a motivator. I call mine Shaniqua. But she can only be an ally if I keep her in check.

Life is hard. The fact is that we need to enlist the help of all of our resources, including our Inner Critics, to win at life.

Keep it simple. Use self-awareness, self-love, and self-respect to shrink the negative noise and win the good health and happiness waiting for you. Seriously. You’ve totally got this. You are a one-woman winning machine!

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