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How to Shut Down Your Inner Critic

By Sandy Schroeder

No matter how great the day, or how wonderful the week, your inner critic may have something negative to say about it. If you, like most of us, has an inner critic that never shuts up, it may be time to do something about it.

When self-criticism becomes a constant habit, it’s easy to lose momentum. Automatically, the self-critic says, “No, that’s too hard, not right, or not important.” Over time that sort of upfront shutdown can make big inroads in your motivation to try harder, move ahead, and reach out, but giving in is the biggest mistake of all.

Take the advice of many people who have succeeded as they stop listening to their self-critic. Try these tips from Psychology Today.

Think about what’s possible – Don’t load up with smiles, balloons and lots of “oh boy” statements that you simply don’t believe. Instead, look more closely at what you are doing and think about what could happen. If you need to lose weight, skip the obvious, “Wow is that scale right?” Instead start with a target and ways to make it happen like, “I’d like to lose 10 pounds and here are the diet and exercise steps that could work.”

Name your self-critic – If you start calling it “that little gremlin,” or “Old Peter Putdown,” you will assume a new power over it, helping you reduce its emotional impact and more easily dismiss it.

Label self-criticism bouts – When you give into self-criticism and start reciting all of your faults, find a name for them. Call them the “broken record” or “ancient history,” reducing their impact and moving on.

Ask what a buddy would say – When your self-critic begins, pause and say, ”Wait a minute. What would my friend say about this?” You can be pretty sure it will be more positive and more helpful. So skip the self-critic’s putdown, and start with possible advice from a friend.

Never say things you would not repeat – We can be pretty hard on ourselves. Question what you just said before you accept it. Then back up, rephrase, and reach for a more understanding, helpful approach.

Tell someone – When you have made a mistake and your self-critic is reminding you of it, call a friend and tell them. As you talk about it much of the impact will be deflated and you may both wind up laughing about it.

Everyone learns how to defend themselves over time, but the sooner you ignore your self-critic or punch back, the stronger and happier you will be.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in North Richland Hills, Tex.  

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