Self talk is the way you talk to yourself in your head. Almost everyone has an
inner conversation happening all the time. Your self talk can change the way you
look at any situation, in seconds. When your self talk is mostly critical and
blaming, it becomes a story, a narrative, that affects everything - the way you see
the people in your life, your job, your finances, even your home. It's often called
the inner critic. And it doesn't have to keep affecting your life. It is possible to turn
it into your inner cheerleader.
Where does the inner critic come from?
From the time we're born we're taught to be safe, to reflect on our actions so we
can learn from our mistakes, to say to ourselves "if I hadn't done that" or "if I had
done this". Which can help us get ready to survive and thrive when similar
situations come up but can lead us to feel ashamed of ourselves. The inner critic's
voice becomes even louder and we get into a cycle where the more we criticize
ourselves, the worse we feel, so we criticize ourselves for feeling bad, and feel
even worse. We believe we have to be hard on ourselves to be successful. That
causes constant stabs of pain.
And more, the beliefs we develop over time build the world we experience. So
when our inner critic constantly says, "I'm not lovable", our amazing brains look
for all the examples it can find to make that statement true.
Pain is a difficult thing to live with. Father Richard Rohr says, "If we do not
transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.".
How can I silence my inner critic?
Your inner critic has been with you your whole life. It has protected you and, in its
own way, it has cared for you. And you are so used to listening to it that it's
impossible to reject it. So what to do?
Embrace it. Make it your friend. Treat it with kindness, compassion and respect.
Yes, it is possible.
Also note that you need your inner critic to keep on keeping you safe and
protecting you. What you're reaching for here is balance.
Mostly, remember that your inner critic was usually put there by other people
and outside sources like the media. This work you're starting is about you
transforming your pain and re-taking charge of yourself.