We all carry those powerful voices within our heads – one very positive and the other voice not so positive. If you’re old enough to remember the old classic cartoon Tom & Jerry or a more modern example, the Simpsons, there were episodes where Homer had to make a decision. At that moment, Homer had an angel appeared on one shoulder and the devil taking his place on the other.
These animations are prime examples of how we sometimes have to battle our inner critic. While the angel and devil appearing may be a matter of making the right decision, their figurative presence also has the power to empower and criticize. When you’re focused on a project and giving it your all, the last thing you need is your inner critic aka the devil showing up to shut down your efforts.
Check out these three powerful tips to make sure you’re able to ward off that negative inner voice.
Stop Engaging in Negative Dialogue
This is one of the very first steps you should take with thoughts of self-doubt and judgment set in. Take a deep breath and redirect your attention towards more positive and uplifting thoughts. Do not engage with negative thoughts. It only breeds more of the same.
Meditation is always encouraged because it does help. Even if you only commit 3-5 minutes to breathe and reset your mind that’s a start. The power that meditation holds is an opportunity to completely rewire the way you think about yourself and the world around you. When your inner critic tries to tell you how horrible you are, refuse to engage, close your eyes, and meditate.
One of the main reasons we get caught up in negative inner chatter about ourselves is because we compare ourselves to others. It’s great to look to people whom we admire as an example of what we want to achieve however, we shouldn’t compare. If you always find yourself comparing your work or character to that of another person, stop it. This behavior only fuels your inner critic and gives the devil good reason to appear on your shoulder to take a score of how you’re measuring up.
As the saying goes, we’re often our own worst critic. The good news is we can allow ourselves to be our own cheerleaders instead. When thoughts about who you are, your worth, or your work filter in your mind as less than stellar stand tall. Only you have the power to shut that inner critic down.