10 Tested Strategies to Manage Your Inner Critic
How active is your inner critic, and how do you manage it?
Most of us are quite familiar with the inner critic. It’s those nagging thoughts and the negative self-talk that tells us we’re not good enough, makes us spiral into self-doubt and undermines our progress.
The voice is usually very harsh and uses words that you would never say to another person. It’s also very repetitive. The inner critic tends to get stuck on a thought and keeps replaying it over and over again, even when the thought isn’t based in any truth or reality.
In fact, the self-critical, repetitive patterns of thinking that the inner critic uses, are known in psychology as cognitive distortions.
They are habitual ways of thinking that are often completely inaccurate and negatively biased. Researchers have identified 10 common distorted thinking patterns that many of us fall into. What we need however, are actionable strategies that we can turn to when we are in the grips of these inner critic thoughts, so we can remain confident and take the action that moves us forward.
Here are the 10 common cognitive distortions from the research, and 10 strategic tips for how to manage them. We have tested that these work with thousands of women and we know they can work for you too.
• When you can identify your own cognitive distortions, you can address them, make new choices and develop your inner ally - a kind and compassionate voice that encourages you to take action.
• When it comes to being an inner ally or an inner critic, think about why you aren’t worth the same kindness, concern, and support you’d show a good friend – of course you are – which is where self-compassion and kindness comes in.
• Studies have found that far from being self-indulgent or soft, the deliberate use of self-compassionate talk is an effective means of enhancing your confidence, your motivation, and your performance. It also seems to help you to generate more positive feelings that balance out your self-doubt and fears, leaving you feeling more joyous, calm, and confident.
To get more tools and strategies to manage your inner critic, download the Women Rising Taming Your Inner Critic guide.