How to Silence Your Inner Critic
How to Silence Your Inner Critic
It has often been said that we are our own worst critics, at times to an unknowingly detrimental extent. In fact, 4 in 5 Australian women have low self-esteem, which stems from harsh self-criticism and can no doubt lead to low self-efficacy and a lack of confidence and fulfilment.
World-leading human behaviour expert Dr. John Demartini says much of our self-criticism come down to setting unrealistic goals and expectations that work against what we truly want to achieve, and become, in our lives. “If we set a fantasy goal, an unrealistic expectation, some delusion about how we want our life to be, and it doesn’t match what is truly important and what we are willing to go after and work on, we are automatically designed neuropsychologically to ‘beat ourselves up’,” Demartini explains. “This leads us onto a dangerous path towards low self-worth and even depression.”
Dr. Demartini believes that rather than allowing inner, and outer, criticisms to define us, it is important to focus on how they can be productive, rather than reinforce where we’re lacking. “Sometimes criticisms are essential to ground us, to teach us how to more effectively communicate, how to care and respect other’s values and how to build self-confidence,” he says, “It is important to find ways to transform those judgements and criticisms into a productive force for change.”
Here are Dr. Demartini’s top tips for combating your inner critic and becoming an empowered individual.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
The prominence of social media in our lives has meant that we are often exposed to images of perceived perfection, causing us to compare ourselves to others and in turn set unrealistic expectations for who we want to be and what we want to achieve. When you compare yourself, you devalue your efforts and scatter your energy in pursuit of something that isn’t in keeping with what you truly want. Any time you see someone who has something that you really want, look deep inside and take note of what you already have. Don’t look at ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ as an endorsement of your character.
Set Realistic Goals
It is wise to set goals that are truly meaningful to us and really important to us. Make sure they are not somebody else’s goals. Goals should align with our values, meaning they need to be congruent with what’s important to us, our priorities and actions that inspire us and allow us to feel fulfilled. It is important to write down our goals and break them down into small, achievable steps. This will constantly remind us to formulate goals that are realistic and authentic, and make the process of achieving them less overwhelming. When we have balanced and realistic goals and expectations on ourselves that are in accordance with our true higher values, our self-talk is more self-worth building, productive and can promote better self-confidence.
Turn Negatives into Positives
If we probe deeper and ask ourselves how these particular forms of criticism are serving us, benefiting us, and how we can use them to accomplish what is most meaningful and important to our lives, we can take any form of criticism and turn them into opportunities and tools to become a more empowered individual. Our inner criticisms should be used as lessons in self-discovery and it is wise to appreciate that they act as a stepping stone to becoming a fulfilled and empowered individual, rather than roadblocks.
Our criticisms don’t have to define us, by consciously making the choice to transform our inner, and outer, criticisms into productive tools for change, stop comparing ourselves to others and set realistic, achievable goals, we can be liberated from negative self-talk and lead more empowered and fulfilled lives.
Dr. John Demartini is a world-renowned human behavioural expert and author of 40 books. He will be touring Australia in February.