In part one of this series we looked at how to identify the thinking pattern that your inner critic uses. Recognizing and acknowledging which pattern(s) your critic uses allows you to become more aware of when the critic is running the show and signal to yourself that you need to step back and engage what is called the Rational Rebuttal to your critic’s conclusion or thoughts.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Is the thought I’m having a fact or an opinion? Your inner critic tries to make your opinions into facts. Find the facts of the situation and reevaluate your thoughts based on those.
- What evidence supports the thought you’re having?
- What evidence refutes the thought you’re having?
- Take a balanced view – what is the best-case scenario? Worst case? Most likely outcome?
- Is your thinking too rigid or inflexible? When a thought contains a “must” or “should” it’s likely that you may be a little restrictive or limited in your thoughts about the situation or yourself.
- How would you support a friend in this situation? We are often more encouraging of varied perspectives with our friends than we are with ourselves.
It can be helpful to write down the evidence that supports and refutes your thought to help you develop a more balanced perspective in your thinking until the process becomes more habitual and internalized.
You are also working on breaking the criticism cycle that you have been engaging in. When you realize that the inner critic is doing it’s thing again you acknowledge to yourself what is going on but do not criticize yourself for “allowing” the critic to do it’s thing. You do not want to criticize yourself for the criticism. No more “why can’t I stop doing this?” You just acknowledge what is happening without judgement and move on into the rational rebuttal. This is also helping you gain some distance from the critical voice. You’re helping it move from center stage to the periphery of your thinking.
In the final part of this series we’ll review how to strengthen the positive voice in your head. As you begin to weaken and sideline the inner critic you need to develop and replace it with a more balanced and positive voice.
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If you have any questions or would like help with your inner critic, please contact me for a free 15-minute phone consultation