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How to separate and ignore your inner critical voice?

  • Label the voice…give it a name. I call mine a “bully”, but yours can be anything you want. Whatever it is or sounds like, label it and call it out in that way.

  • Take a step back from it; get outside of the real-time, emotional state it’s trying to get you in. In NLP we call this “dissociate”. (which is different from the clinical definition of dissociation). In other words, try taking a 3rd person point of view, or seeing yourself from across the room as you experience the inner critic at work…the difference is that you can see this unfold with an unbiased, neutral vantage point. Therefore, no judgment, no emotional moment to work through.

  • Move on; distract and do something else.

Example: If your inner critic is telling you that you are going to fail at this new job, you likely tell yourself, “I’m going to fail at this job, I’ll never make it”. So instead of whole heartedly embracing that voice and applying it to yourself immediately, try separating yourself from it and reframe it to “my inner critic is telling me that I am going to fail”.

We are more prone to believe it when we reference it as ourselves, so if we step back out of the moment, we then have some space to see it for what it really is or is not. Then, you can analyze and decide for yourself how much power your critic should have, and move on to something else, thus reinforcing the stripping of power that you just took from it. The main key is, make sure that you distract and move on…as with many other techniques, after you’ve worked through it, go do some self-care and put your attention elsewhere.

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