We all say stuff to ourselves we’d never say to anyone else. It’s just the way we’re wired. But how do we keep that voice in check?
First, it’s about understanding where that voice comes from. Our friends at The School of Life produced this little gem.
At Energx our goal is to help you be your own cheerleader vs. your own critic. Here are some ways we’ve found that work for us.
Give your inner critic a name. A name probably popped into your head as soon as you read that, so write it down now. Mine is Harold. Harold is always criticising me and telling me what I can’t do. When Harold pops up I say to myself, “I notice that Harold is saying…”. The act of naming the voice and observing the thought creates a distance that takes away its power.
Focus on what you are, not what you’re not. Harold is always telling me what I’m not, what I can’t do, or what other people might think of me (whether they do or not). These thoughts are usually the exact opposite of what I know my strengths to be. Harold is spreading fake news where I know that my strengths are scientific data. My strengths are real, and so are yours. Read the blog about strengths here. Re-read it as often as you needed to put your inner critic in its place.
Notice what spikes your inner critic. One of our favourite sayings is comparison is the thief of joy. Comparing ourselves to others is one of the least kind things we can do. In this age of social media, it’s important to realise that 99% of what we see is ‘curated contentment‘. It’s not real. When you notice yourself comparing, try one of the two strategies above immediately. Ultimately there is only one person you should compare yourself to. That person is you, yesterday.