Do you have a critical inner voice?
Are you bombarded with self-loathing thoughts all day long?
Thoughts that tells you: You aren’t good enough, You will never be successful or You’re useless.
Excessive self-criticism can damage our mental health.
Your self-criticism is a form of negative self-talk. It makes you feel bad about yourself and causes you to have low self-esteem. Not only that, being overly self-critical for a long period of time might lead to:
- Unpleasant emotions such as fear, shame, and hopelessness,
- Mental illnesses such as depression, social anxiety, and other personality disorders, or
- Self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide.
If you are like many others, you are likely to have developed a habit of critical self-talk since childhood. As a tutor, I often witness self-loathing thinking in children. Some students would say they are stupid, while others would think they are lazy.
Self-criticism is not something that only adults do. Why are we so self-critical and how can we stop them?
What Is the Inner Critic?
The critical inner voice that we have inside our heads is also known as the inner critic or the critical parent. In transpersonal psychology, our minds divide itself into several subpersonalities or personas to cope with different situations.
The subpersonality that judges us is called the inner critic.
Just like our parents, its purpose is to correct our behaviors and protect us from harm. Many of us developed the inner critic since young because we learned it from our parents.
How Does the Inner Critic Develop?
Sometimes, parents aren’t aware that they are being too critical of their children. Any label or judgment they have on their children would influence the children’s perception of themselves. If they think their children are lazy, most children would unknowingly evaluate themselves as lazy too.
And it doesn’t have to be direct criticisms. Parents can scold us for making mistakes and we might mistakenly infer and believe that we need to be perfect or we are incapable.
Our parents’ evaluations of us shape our identities.
Social expectations of us can also affect our self-evaluations and beliefs. For example, imagine you are someone who has ADHD and people around you have been constantly emphasizing that there is something wrong with you for not being able to sit down and do your work quietly, how would that make you feel about yourself?
These incorrect self-beliefs that we have developed since young are stored in our subconscious. To ensure these beliefs stay intact, the mind creates the inner critic persona to take over the critical role of our parents. So these beliefs stayed with us even when we have become adults.
If you have paid attention to your inner critic, you will realize that it sounds very much like your mother or your father. Even the things you are being criticized for resemble the things your parents will criticize you for.
Taming Your Inner Critic and Overcoming Self-Loathing
Overcoming self-criticism is not easy, especially when it has become a habit. Some of us even falsely believe that being self-critical can make us more successful.
The key to combat self-loathing thoughts isn’t to stop them. We make it worse when we resist our negative thoughts and try to eliminate them. Some of us get angry or frustrated with ourselves when we can’t silence our thoughts, while others feel hopeless and powerless to stop our inner critics.
The truth is we can’t control all our thoughts, especially those from the subconscious.
Doubting is a better way of dealing with negative self-talk.
The better way is to deal with our inner critics is to notice the thoughts and not believe or react to them. Doing so reduces the intensity of our suffering and subsequently helps us to be less self-critical.
The judgments that our minds have on us aren’t true and doesn’t represent our true selves. However, the mind continues to attack us because it has been conditioned to do so. It has been doing it for many years and you can’t stop it overnight. We need to retrain our brains slowly and develop a new mental habit of doubting our thoughts.
Furthermore, the inner critic has the potential to be a great inner coach, defender or guide. It can give us constructive criticisms. But we need to learn how to decipher its message and teach it how to speak to us with compassion.
What’s Inside The Disbelief Habit?
The purpose of this book is to help you be more aware and skeptical of your self-loathing thoughts. It teaches you how to embrace your inner critic and be free from it.
In this book, you’ll learn:
- Why you shouldn’t take your thoughts too seriously
- Why are you so self-critical and hard on yourself
- What are the four common reactions to self-criticism
- What is and what isn’t disbelieving
- 5 examples on how to separate the truth from fiction
- How to notice your reaction
- How to identify the message that your inner critic is conveying
- How to make doubting your new habit
Can You Help Me?
If you have read this book and find it helpful, could you help me leave a review on Amazon (Here is the link)? Your feedback will not only help me grow as an author, it will also help those who need the message in the book.
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Here is the download link again to my book: