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If you’ve been guilty in the past of judging yourself in many situations, it may mean you’re lacking confidence, self-esteem and self-image.
To overcome this issue and live a greater, richer and more fulfilling life, you must silence your inner critic first.
Here’s a fact that you might already have sensed on some level:
The way we talk to ourselves has a TREMENDOUS impact on the reality we experience.
Those who choose empowering meanings will always live in a greater state of wellbeing, and achieve more than those who don’t.
People who are quite simply okay with who they are and where they’re going, regardless of what that looks like right now tend to enjoy MUCH MORE success and happiness in their lives than people who argue often, criticize themselves, and generally feel BAD about who they are and where they’re at right now.
So here’s the question:
WHY IS THIS?
Why do men and women who are comfortable with themselves tend to do SO MUCH BETTER in all areas of their lives than men and women who judge themselves?
The question is how to silence your inner critic?
Well my theory is simple: feeling bad takes up a HUGE amount of ENERGY.
If you’ve invested a lot of energy in feeling shame, worry, anxiety, stress, and self-criticism, you don’t have much left over for the good things in life.
On the other hand, self-acceptance literally CREATES energy, which can then be put to good use in sensing opportunities, open doors, and good fortune.
This isn’t necessarily a conscious thing, that men and women who ‘feel good’ will work harder at furthering themselves and it’s more that life itself naturally seems to ‘loosen up’ for such people, allowing promising events to gain momentum and windows of opportunity to open wider all on their own.
You CAN change your self-talk.
You CAN silence your ‘Inner Critic’.
And you CAN access the incredible wealth of life-abundance that awaits people who’ve learned to unlock their ‘inner contentment potential’!
You aren’t going to change anything about your world-view by changing what’s happening ‘in your world’.
It doesn’t matter how much money you have – how many cars, careers, houses, or gold-plated walk-in humidors you have.
Neither does it matter how many relationships you have or with whom they are with.
If you want to KILL your inner critic and unleash your own inner JOY, here’s something you ought to know:
It’s an inside job.
First you change your self-talk and then the world changes to match it.
It’s really quite incredible. (It’s also a lot EASIER than earning a million bucks, buying a mansion, or dating the most beautiful human on the planet!)
When I talk about ‘changing your self-talk’, I’m not talking about ‘therapy’ or seeing a shrink.
This isn’t about putting your feet up on a leather couch and telling someone with a clipboard about your relationship with your father.
In fact, this is something that DOESN’T INVOLVE ANYBODY ELSE AT ALL.
It’s something that only YOU can do.
It’s about being QUIET ENOUGH that you can hear your inner truth the one that’s been there all along.
So what do you have to do?
Well, it’s actually surprisingly SIMPLE.
And fortunately for you, although changes won’t happen QUICKLY, they will happen EASILY.
The more you struggle, the less ‘effect’ you’ll see in other words, you need to learn how to ‘hurry up and wait’ to ‘take the easy road’ for once (which, contrary to the Puritan work ethic of ‘struggle, struggle, struggle’, can be very beneficial for your character!)
So here’s the deal:
When it comes to ‘inner changes’, it’s less about EFFORT than it is about simply PAYING ATTENTION.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Those of you who’ve read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now will have at least a passing familiarity with the concept of changing what you don’t like simply by noticing how you feel about the way things are.
And yes, this is a theme that you will come across again and again.
NOTE: we didn’t invent this concept (as a matter of fact, it’s so old and used by so many that I’m not sure who, if anyone, can claim original authorship!) but we do all find it very useful – as will you!
So here’s how it applies to YOU and YOUR LIFE:
Your ‘inner self and inner peace’ doesn’t respond well to criticism and negative judgment calls.
In fact, one thing I’ve noticed is that when you try to make a change that’s based on FEAR or NEGATIVITY, it tends to actually stick that undesirable habit firmly into place! Ironic, I know but that seems to just be how most human beings operate.
Let’s take work as an example.
If someone in the workplace is getting out of line, a good manager will know to correct their behavior – not by castigating them, but actually by COMPLIMENTING THEM on something else they’ve done right.
Everything you need is already inside you.
If you want people to respond to you, you don’t bring up what they’re doing ‘wrong’ unless you REALLY, REALLY NEED TO.
Because calling attention to a ‘bad characteristic’ or a ‘fault’ or a ‘flaw’ actually causes that undesirable trait to STICK IN PLACE HARDER.
On the other hand, by doling out some praise (in an area where it’s actually deserved), you RAISE that person’s self-esteem and self-pride and the ‘bad habit’ will almost always drop out of sight all on its own.
Because such a habit is no longer congruent with the ‘competent, valued colleague’ self-image you’ve now helped that person to construct of themselves.
How do I know this?
Because I speak from personal experience, that’s how.
If you focus on the good stuff, and simply NOTICE the ‘bad stuff’ without making a big deal about it, the bad habit will usually melt away all on its own.
It’s simply human nature.
And the exact same principle applies to YOU.
If you criticize, judge, worry, and berate yourself, you’ll simply STICK your undesirable traits in place not to mention, cause a whole lot of unnecessary ANGST for yourself. (And who wants to do that?)
If you want to change your self-talk – and thus, your life – what you need is to give yourself the calm, space, and peace necessary to just BE.
The magic word?
When you meditate, a funny thing starts to happen: criticism no longer has the power to impact you.
Like magic, doubts and insecurities just melt away along with all the characteristics that no longer best serve you anymore. There’s no judging.
Instead, it’s just you and the Infinite under whose gaze all flaws, crinkles, and rough spots naturally smooth away.
You don’t have to DO anything.
All you have to do is sit down and be present.
First: there’s NO ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to meditate.
Some people do it lying down in bed.
Some people stand up.
Some people walk around in their neighborhood! Some even use guided meditations.
Newcomers to meditation often inadvertently interrupt themselves during a practice by thinking, ‘Uh-oh … am I doing it right? Why am I still thinking? Aren’t I supposed to be totally ‘empty’ right now?’
Here’s the deal: the ‘myth’ that your brain needs to be silent during meditation is just that:
Your brain will NEVER stop thinking.
And it’s not your job to try and get it to do so.
Instead, the whole point of meditation is to help you feel peaceful about the way things are.
So thoughts will come and go.
Your task is to simply ALLOW them to do that, without interfering, worrying, or indeed reacting in any way.
(It’s easy but simultaneously somehow harder than it sounds!)
So now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s what you’re going to do: First: sit down in a comfy place.
It doesn’t matter where. You can sit in a chair if you want, on a cushion, whatever. The important thing is that you’re comfy.
(You can lie down, if you like.)
Because your breath is always with you no matter where you are, it makes a pretty handy meditation tool.
All you’re going to do is try to count to ten.
On the out breath, count ‘one’ (silently.)
On the next out breath, count ‘two’. If you become distracted by a thought, that’s OK. Just start again at one.
If you can get to ten, you’re doing well! As your experience grows, try to count to ten again and again.
Don’t worry about whether this sounds ‘effective’ or not.
If your mind is right now throwing up thoughts of, ‘What is she talking about? How is this going to work for me? It sounds boring and not active enough!’
Disengage from your Inner Critic, and give it a go. Right now. Use the energy created by reading this article. Wherever you are, close your eyes, relax, and start the count.
Don’t worry if you feel nothing at first.
Remember, this is an ONGOING discipline with CUMULATIVE EFFECTS meaning, the more often you do your ten-count, the more benefit you will feel (and the easier it will be!)
Little by little, you’re getting in touch with your inner peacefulness – your true sense of natural relaxation, self-acceptance, and quiet, ever-present JOY.
It’s a powerful thing and an excellent means of ‘loosening up’ your death-grip on reality.
Why would you want to do such a thing?
Because fluidity in life is what permits opportunity to come your way, change to start flowing, and chance to favor you.
So start now. Right now. And in one week, see the positive change and difference in your life already.
I will stop here. I hope you enjoyed reading this article on how to silence your inner critic and if you truly did, please do not forget to share it on your favorite social media.
I'm Jonathan Boyd, blogger at Self Improvement Life. I'm passionate for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire others to become better. Follow me @modern.therapist