We’ve all experienced an unkind voice in our minds. Why does this happen? And what can we do about it? I battled a loud inner critic for years and this is the strategy that helps me take control of it.
Our inner critic is connected to the fight-or-flight system, the part of our brain responsible for threat detection. In other words, our inner critic tells us threats not truth. In particular, our inner critic tells us about perceived threats to our relationships. This means putting the phrase “I’m afraid other people will think…” in front of whatever our inner critic says translates it to a more accurate statement.
“I’m not good enough.”
I’m afraid other people will think I’m not good enough.
I’m afraid other people will think I’m selfish.
“I’m a failure.”
I’m afraid other people will think I’m a failure.
After we identify our fear we can deal with it by asking two questions:
1) Is what my inner critic saying true?
2) What does Truth say instead?
Inner Critic: “I’m a failure.”
Translation: I’m afraid other people will think I’m a failure.
Truth: I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Php. 4:13 NLT
Try it with something your inner critic says to you…
Unfortunately, we can’t get rid of our inner critic. But we can turn it from an enemy to an ally. It feels like it’s at war with us but it’s really trying to warn us. Let’s accept its inevitable presence, translate what it says to something more helpful, then let Truth have the final say.
Cheering You On,
– On Episode 32 of the More than Small Talk podcast we’re answering the confession question, “Have you ever put yourself in a box? If so, what’s the label on it?” Let’s bust out of our boxes together!
– If you need more help with your inner critic you’ll find it in Strong, Brave, Loved (now available for preorder).