We all hear it—that voice in our head, our inner critic, that feels compelled to judge every single thing we do.
For many of us, the dialogue we have with our inner critic every day is painful, scarring, and downright demoralizing.
But oddly, all that judgment grew out of our conscious and unconscious memories of fear and failure from childhood on.
I used to call my inner critic Nasty Nancy.
She was a pissy, pessimistic, naysayer who always seemed to stick her nose in and spout negativity just when I needed an influx of positive. She was a “stopper.” Inevitably what she had to say was all about “not,” “can’t,” and “won’t,” but I refused to let her stop me and I found ways to convert my inner critic into my best cheerleader.
Now I like to call her Nice Nancy because she’s down for anything.
So how do you turn your own inner critic around? The trick is to love her. It sounds impossible. I know. But try seeing her as an ally and not the enemy. After all, she is YOU. So just like you would with any other person you love, embrace the good AND the bad in her and cut her some slack. In order to do that, let’s talk about five reasons to love your inner critic.
- She has your best interests at heart. It might be hard to believe, but all that criticism is really her way of trying to keep you out of what she perceives as a bad situation. She’s like that tactless, overzealous friend who thinks they know what’s best for you and discourages you from doing anything new. She wants to keep you from taking any risk that might end up getting you hurt. Her methods stink but her intentions are good.
- She can make you better—at everything. When your inner critic raises an objection, try not to cut her off. Let her say her piece and then explore what she is trying to do. Is she making any valid points? Is this a situation where caution might be a good idea? Are you making good choices for yourself? Don’t argue with her just use the “stop” as an opportunity to assess your plan, your actions, and what you want. That kind of critical, reflective thinking is actually what takes an idea, or in this case your life, from “good” to “great.”
- She knows you better than anyone else. Your inner critic knows the real you—not what you show the world but the whole you, the beautiful mess. That’s why she can be so damaging, but it’s also why she can be your greatest ally.
- Love puts YOU back in control. As long as you are arguing with her or allowing her to run over you and bring you down, your inner critic has the reins. She is steering your destiny. When you embrace her and force her to use her powers for good, you’ll be able to calm her negativity and take back your life.
- Your inner critic can help you lose weight! Having your inner critic on your side will definitely increase your happiness. Here’s something you may not know, she can also help you lose weight. That’s right! When you successfully convert her into your cheerleader, she will be by your side encouraging you to make healthier choices, exercise regularly, and be the best you can be. Now, if that’s not the best reason to love her, then I don’t know what is!