How to challenge your inner critic

How to challenge your inner critic

For many of us, our happiness is too often beaten by our own selves.

Negative self-talk is almost certainly the major obstacle to success and happiness in life.

When it comes to happiness, therefore, we are our own worst enemies.

But as you’ll see if you keep reading below, it doesn’t have to be like that…

via TED Ideas by Rick Hanson

We all contain an inner nitpicker, but we shouldn’t let it drag us down and drown out everything else. Psychologist Rick Hanson gives advice on how to put it back in its place.

We all have two different voices inside us: one that is nurturing, and one that is critical; one that lifts up, and one that weighs us down. Both of these voices have a role to play. Our inner nurturer brings self-compassion and encouragement, while the inner critic helps you recognize where you’ve gone wrong and what you need to do to set things right. But for most people, the inner critic goes way overboard, throwing dart after dart of scolding, shaming, nit-picking and faultfinding. It’s big and powerful, while the inner nurturer is small and ineffective, wearing down your mood, self-worth and resilience. Happily, there are good ways to reset this balance by restraining the critic and strengthening the nurturer inside yourself.

First, try to observe how self-criticism operates inside you. Notice any dismissal or minimization of your pain, your needs and your rights. Watch how little thoughts downplay your accomplishments: “Oh, anyone could have done that . . . but it wasn’t perfect . . . what about the other times when you messed up?” Observe any repetitive doubting or discouraging of your hopes and dreams.

When the inner critic starts pounding away, know that your inner nurturer is a refuge and an ally.

Be aware of anger at yourself that seems out of proportion to what happened. Listen inside for a tone of scolding, berating or shaming — like someone is yelling at you. Recognize any underlying attitude that you always have to do more to be good enough. And identify any over-the-top moralistic self-condemnation, conveyed by phrases such as “You should be ashamed of yourself” or “You’re a bad person.” As you observe what’s happening in your mind, label it with tags such as “self-criticism,” “saying my pain doesn’t matter,” or “lashing and lambasting again.”

…keep reading the full & original article HERE