Embrace the Inner Critic

Has your inner critic gained too much control over your ability to move forward?

While, the critical voice that emerges every so often is not always welcome, it may serve a purpose. While annoying, it might serve as a protector and motivator, so it’s not all bad.

This nagging voice lets you:

  • Refine and reduce the complex into something refined and actionable,
  • Bring closure to projects, relationships, phases, so you can move on
  • Maintain high standards that for many is unimaginable.
  • Let go of things and people you cannot control
  • Be organized with great attention to detail
  • Have the courage to say no
  • Set clear boundaries
  • Discern

However, the inner critic, while it means well, holds you back by reminding you of:

  • Your fears
  • Disappointments and regrets from the past
  • Limiting beliefs held about the future
  • The potential that you might get hurt

The next time you find yourself listening to that voice in your head that says “you can’t”, stop. Spend a few moments acknowledging the voice; maybe thank it for trying to protect you. Listen to the messages: Is there a theme? A pattern?

By pausing to breathe, you can create a distance between it and you. Here’s how:

  • Take a deep breath, and tune in to your body sitting or standing there.
  • Feel your feet on the ground.
  • Notice the length of your toes.
  • Let awareness move up from your feet through your legs and hips.
  • Notice your back and shoulders, breathing with and through tension found there
  • Move awareness to the arms and hands, then into the neck and head.
  • Feel yourself here, in this space, in this moment.

You can continue by getting curious. Start to question the voice and assumptions. Is it true?

Be generous with yourself. Would your friend speak to you this way?

Look at all of the things you have accomplished. Maybe even write them down and speak them out loud.

For me, the biggest thing that moved my forward was finding a support system or method to use for reflection. This could be a person or a group or something this is meaningful for you to remind you of your strengths and accomplishments.

By developing these constructive behaviors into habits, we can acknowledge areas where we don’t feel our strongest and use them as springboards for improvement and growth rather than be held back by them.


I work with mid-life men and women who want to feel younger through improving their relationship to food, movement and mindfulness.

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