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Taming the Voices Inside
EMILY JACOB
ReConnected Life
We all have the voices inside.  The inner critic, the one who bullies you.  How do we make peace and quiet the voices that torture us and put us down, when those voices are parts of us?
This blog post was prompted by a question in the ReConnected Life Community: “I need to break the cycle of negative, self-destructive thoughts I’m getting, that are serving no purpose but make me more upset and exhausted. I can’t help but hear my own voice and it hurts.”  All humans have the inner critic, it’s a part of us, a function of our lived experiences and past scripts.  The voice is there to protect us; every time it sees us thinking about stepping out of our comfort zone, it warns us of the danger, helping us to make the pre-emptive decision not to risk being rejected, being not good enough, failing.  Yet, of course, no-one grows in the comfort zone, and so it’s well-meaning intentions actually hurt, more than the words it’s saying too.

Watch this little video where I explain more about the inner critic, how to make friends with it, and how to quiet it.

In summary:

Inner critics are strongest when we have strong desires to stay safe.

Often, we try to silence the inner critic, but that can make her scream louder.

There’s a trick to quieting her. We have to make friends with her. You see, underneath all the bullying criticism, she’s got your best interests at heart. She just goes around it all wrong. For example, my critic loves telling me I’m worthless, not doing enough, not enough. But I recognize she’s trying to get me to reject myself to protect me from the pain of others rejecting me. Her logic is flawed, but it comes from a good place.

She’s lying. But to protect you.

Step 1: thank her for her advice and opinion. Acknowledge she has your best interests at heart. Tell her you hear her.

Step 2: Tell her that you disagree, there is lots of evidence that counters her opinion. You’re going to try something else.

Step 3: Soothe the inner frightened child the inner critic has been bullying. Tell her you love her. Tell her the positives that you told the inner critic. Hold her, take her to that fun place where you used to laugh as a child. Parent her.

I know that this involves having a 3 way conversation in your mind, between the adult you, the child, the critic. But the more often you do it, the quieter the critic becomes, the less she pops up.

Some people like to talk out loud. Some inside their heads. Some write it all down, taking the on the different perspectives of each. If you write down everything the inner critic says, let it out, no censoring. Then, in a different colour, write the counter argument for each of the negative points. You’ll see, the critic is lying. But only to protect you. The comfort zone is safe. Every time we try to step out, the critic is on alert trying to protect us. But we can’t grow in the comfort zone.

In solidarity and love xx

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