#AskTheTherapist

 How can I silence my inner critic?

More often than not I see clients who have ongoing battles with their inner critic. The inner critic dominates their internal world, it is fed with feelings of fear, shame and guilt. It annihilates them, belittles them and is accompanied by self sabotage and self loathing patterns of thinking and patterns of behaviour. In searching for the on off switch, it has yet to be found however it has become apparent that there is a volume button. Through observation I have noticed that the following factors are essential to disempowering the inner critic.

  1. Understanding the inner critic has a protective role and was born out of a need for survival, it relentlessly strives to keep us small and out of danger (albeit often aggressive, bullying and poisonous in nature)
  2. Letting go the need to “get rid” of this part of our jigsaw and instead working on acceptance of its presence in our life. The less we run from it, the more powerless it becomes.
  3. Self-compassion! Self-compassion! Self- compassion!
  4. A continual focus to working on boundaries, self-destructive patterns of behaviour and challenging our cognitive distortions. In other words, believing everything that we think, does not serve us well!
  5. And finally…Acknowledge the feeling that is fuelling the inner critic. Take a moment to pause, breathe into the feeling, let go of any judgment we have of feeling this way and ask ourselves “what could I add to my day to support myself whilst I’m feeling like this?”

 

 

 

Claire Bruton
Integrative & Holistic Counsellor & Psychotherapist

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