Before we can gain a positive inner voice, we first need to recognize what our negative inner voice sounds like.
So, what does this voice sound like? Well, it could say things like, ‘I’m so stupid’, ‘No one loves me’ ‘I’m such a mistake’ ‘I’m so fat’ and the list could go on. But guess what? God never intended for us to dislike ourselves.
For me, this verse basically says I need to love others in the same way as I love myself. I must love myself, before I can ever truly love another. Many times, our inner critic can come from past negative experiences but it doesn’t have to be part of our future. Did you know that perfectionists can be highly critical of themselves? Someone who feels alone or without hope can also have a negative inner voice. When we are critical of ourselves, it can cause guilt. When we feel guilt, it can cause shame. And when we feel shame, this can cause a reoccurring critical inner voice. So, how can we really love someone if we have not learned self-love? It can be a challenge, but it can be accomplished with the awareness and determination. Let’s look at these five suggestions.
RECOGNIZE AND HEAR THE VOICE. Make it a habit to listen to your silent and spoken voice for those judgmental thoughts and beliefs. When you hear the negativity, immediately silence it. CONFRONT IT. Don’t give it the power to speak.
FIND AND UNDERSTAND YOUR WHY. Many times, our inner critic comes from our past. Finding the ‘why’ or the root cause may take some time, and it may hurt, but coming to terms with the past is essential to any future transformation. Finding the ‘why’ will give a better understanding to how you act and react.
PRACTICE SELF CARE WITH SELF-COMPASSION. Learning to see ourselves differently will allow us to practice self-care through compassion. This means being patient, kind and gentle with ourselves when the inner-critic arrives.
ASK FOR HELP. This can be especially difficult, but asking for help is a no-brainer. A qualified mental health professional can provide you with a safe place and help with any negative thoughts. Also, reaching out to those who you consider a safe friend or family member can be helpful. We weren’t meant to do life alone. From the beginning, God said it was not good for us to be alone. Genesis 2:18. Connect with others. If I can be honest, the truth is…We Need Each Other. Hebrews 10:24-25
PRAY AND GIVE IT TO GOD.
Proverbs 3:5-6 has become more clear to me over the past year.
” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make straight, your paths.”
Trusting in God and surrendering it over to Him can help eliminate the worries and anxiety of it all. Letting go of what we think we know and giving it to the One who does, can make all the difference in how we hear and see ourselves. There is nothing in this world that we cannot pray about.
You may be asking yourself,
‘How does she know all of this? What makes her such an expert?”
First, let me say…I’m no expert. Second, I know all of this because I’ve experienced it. As a writer, the first thing I learned is to write about what I know. I’m not saying these five ways are the “fix” to a critical inner voice. I’m not saying there are only five ways. I’m not even saying that I’ve perfected this. What I am saying is that life is the best teacher. I am the student. And God has answers.
If you are struggling with an inner-critic, you can take this simple quiz to see where you rank. This was adapted from J. Earley & B. Weiss. and Victoria Donahue I hope it can give you a better understanding of the different types and which type may be holding you back. QUIZ You can read about the seven types of inner-critic here.
P.S. I took the quiz and it was no surprise to me what the results were. I scored the highest in ‘Guilt Tripper’ and ‘Molder.‘ Although the numbers weren’t high, it was higher than the others and seeing it on paper has brought it to my attention that these two areas are where I need to concentrate.
If you do not understand how to take the quiz, feel free to contact me and I’ll help. If you have taken the quiz and realize there is an area or two in which you would like to discuss with me, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free inquiry call.
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