The negative inner critic


Shreya Raj

Psychology & Mindfulness Expert

I think we can all agree that at some point or another, our not-so angelic side on the shoulder has made us pull back from certain activities and tasks, convincing us that we would be unable to accomplish it or that we were not good enough to do it.

The self talk sometimes given to us has been negative and has had a harsh effect on our mind. The negative aspect of our inner critic works hand-in-hand with our suppressed insecurities.

The moment the negative criticerupts in us, it reminds us of our insecurities and that demotivates us and brings our morale down even for activities or goals we were initially enthusiastic about. The feeling of ‘looking forward to something’ dies down when the negative inner critic comes to play in our minds.

But this inner critic of ours can have a lot of positive outcomes too. The inner critic pushes us to do better, helps us recognize our past mistakes and gives us the motivation to not make the same mistakes as before by finding the right approach.

All we have to do is the tame the inner critic. We need to start choosing the angel over the devil on our shoulder. Here are some ways we can tame our inner critic and turn the negative into positive:

1. Being more emotionally aware

We are so used to working around our thoughts that it’s very easy to become oblivious to the messages that we’re sending ourselves. Let's try and pay more attention to what we’re thinking about and recognize and tell ourselves that just because we think of something, doesn’t mean it’s true.

Our thoughts are often exaggerated, biased, and disproportionate and the reality is far different from it so learn to make that distinction.

2. Not pondering over setbacks over long periods of time

There will be lot of setbacks in life, if we use up our time to keep thinking about it or how we were stupid to act in a certain way in the past, we will never be able to grow.

If and when we are unable to do something because of our negative inner critic and face a setback, we can learn to dust off the shortcoming and get back up immediately after forgiving ourselves and learning something out of the experience.

3. Advising own self like a loved one

It so happens that sometimes we are able to give fantastic, realistic advice to our friends, family, loved ones when they are facing a problem. But when the same problem falls into our lap then we are unable to apply the same things!

Sometimes we should try and use the ‘practice what you preach’ theory and see that it works well. We can surely benefit from our own guidance and expertise.

4. Working on kindness and self care

Showing ourselves kindness, love and care are important to get rid of the negative inner critic. When we shower ourselves with love and generate all the positivity we can internally, there will be no room left for any negative thoughts or insecurities in our life.

5. Practicing self acceptance

The moment we start accepting ourselves, the good and the bad, is the time our progress will start. It is important for us to accept ourselves even with all our shortcomings because no one is perfect and embracing our imperfections is the only way the negative inner critic will stop overshadowing the positives of our life.

Somewhere at some point in our lives we have to realize that the negative side of our inner critics will always be with us and that we just have to mould it and make it work constructively.

When we learn how to tame our negative inner critic then eventually life seems to be less problematic and starts working a little bit more according to how we like it, how we want it and how we dreamed it to be.

View more content by Shreya Raj

Discussion Board

Share with us all those when some negative self talk held you back from doing something you love and how you overcame it?

Rohit Chopra
Great article Shreya! Negative self talk is completely demotivating and prevents is from following our dreams. It should be avoided at all costs. ✌️
Aayush Saxena
This is a really useful article!
Anaya Jain
how can we avoid negavtive talks if everything in life happening is negative