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Anil Thomas

Master NLP Practitioner & Gestalt Therapist

How to manage your critical voice?

  • Deliberately think of the voice as a different aspect of you
    Your critical inner voice has it’s own personality – often one similar to a person in our life that was perhaps less than positive as a role-model or influence. Think about it as “they/them/he/she” and in third-person, what does your critic want to discuss? It’s obviously also you, but metaphorically treating it like a separate personality means your more likely to become objective to its point of view.

  • Listen to it, with curiosity
    Treat it like an acquaintance that is trying to offer you some (not asked for) advice, rather than taking it as a personal attack on who you are. What are they trying to tell you that might be useful to listen to? And listen with curiosity. So rather than interrupting it and “yeah butting” the voice, hear it out.

  • Then challenge what it is saying, ask questions and find out how it thinks the way it does
    How does my critical inner voice know that’s true?
    What did it see or hear that made it think that, or did it infer something that might not be true?
    What does it mean by that?
    Compared to whom or what?
    What’s stopping it from wanting/being/doing xxx?

  • Change how the voice talks
    If you’re still finding that the voice is really affecting you, change the pitch and tempo of the voice – even switch it so it sounds like someone/thing that amuses us. What if it sounded like Mickey Mouse or Olaf from Frozen does it have the same power to switch your mood now?

Build the positive aspects of your inner thoughts
Practice being kind to yourself and cutting yourself some slack. Make a note of all the things you have achieved that day, a good way at the end of each day is to imagine replaying the day in your mind, giving yourself a pat on the back and encouragement when things went well and some advice and feedback when things didn’t quite work out. Imagine that feedback becoming “edits” in the showreel of the day and how that would reshape the movie if you took that advice on board. We call this process “self-editing” within NLP and it’s a great technique our Practitioners learn.

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