How to be more happy and more positive is surely the ultimate goal for us all. Money, success and achievement mean nothing if a negative mindset leaves you in a state of misery. Taking control of your inner critic is a vital step towards embracing a more positive future.
For me, the realisation that my - very vocal and ever present - inner critical voice was not the voice of truth but merely a pattern of negative thinking which I could choose to ignore was a revelation! The day when my inner critic was joined by a louder more positive voice was an even greater reason for celebration.
My inner critic would tell me that 'I couldn't possibly do that'; that 'other people are much better at this....'; that 'I don't know enough/have enough experience...' and for me, the killer, constantly repeated: 'I'm just not good enough'. (This said in respect of pretty much everything!)
There are steps we can all take to keep a check on the inner critic and make sure it does not prevent us from moving forward.
1. Awareness is the first step to finding a more positive way of living with the inner critic. Understand that you can disidentify from your thoughts: Ekhart Tolle calls this 'watching the Thinker'. You are NOT this negative voice. Become aware - perhaps write down what you hear - what patterns can you find? You can observe what is happening and then choose the action which will lead to the best outcome.
2. Don't fight with it! Rather than conducting an energy sapping internal argument, thank the voice for trying to keep you safe and assure it that you have things under control. Then choose a more positive thought on which to focus. Something which allows you to make progress. For me - when the idea that 'I'm not good enough' pops into my mind, I recognise it and choose to tell myself that 'It' not about being good enough, it's about taking the first step'.
3. Cultivate the voice of your inner champion! Remember a time when things were going well - how did you celebrate that? What positive words were saying to yourself? THAT is the voice of your inner champion - take time to cultivate that voice, imagine turning up the volume as if you were listening to it on the radio. Ask questions designed to get a positive response: what is going well just now? Where am I making a difference? When was I at my happiest? When was I inspired? If you struggle with this... how would you encourage a friend in your situation? We can be so much kinder to our friends.. practicing self-compassion is another way to increase positivity.
Listening to your inner critic is a habit... we know that it takes time to break any habit but the change to your happiness levels once you start to listen to your inner champion instead, will amaze you!