Heal the inner critic and the soul speaks

Posted by on Apr 24, 2023 in Blog | 0 comments


Healing the inner Critic allows the soul to speak.

Transform the inner Critic into a friendly guide and free the voice of your wise spirit. Who is the Inner Critic, the harsh voice who says we are not good enough, we need to be better, we might fail, or we have failed? Our inner Critic derives from our authority figures and enculturation beginning in early life. If we were fortunate enough to be in a school system or to live in a family with gentle, authentic ways of guiding us, our inner Critic would be a more friendly guide. However, if we didn’t benefit from such good fortune, we can distance ourselves from its overbearing tyranny. Like an anthropologist, witness how it talks to us.

The Inner Critic can help us to learn to achieve, to move forward with focus and discipline, or shame us into a state of paralysis and misery. Hopefully, criticism helps us analyze and face our flaws and open us to tender transformation. However, a harsh inner critic puts us in a place of shame, anxiety,  misery, and even depression. Feeling externally or internally threatened, we may get stuck in survival mode ( fight, flight, freeze, or faint).

So how do we deal with the inner Critic? To befriend the inner Critic or, rather, to have it befriend us, it’s helpful to get a little distance and not take it too seriously.

If we want a more peaceful world, liberation from our past pain, and more joy, we start by recognizing how we speak to ourselves and nurturing self-mercy. It requires practice!

Your soul has an inner voice longing for expression too.

Try this technique of story editing. It helps us to revise our stories and our harsh depictions of ourselves. We can reframe a tale of trauma into a story of survival. Trauma and suffering offer powerful silver linings of strength and compassion. Or, on a more everyday level, if we have a conversation with someone and feel awkward, we can change that story from a story of failure to an account of learning. How could I prepare ahead of time to talk to this person? Talking or writing in the third person helps create space. How might Joanne calm herself in preparation for talking to someone she is ill at ease with? We can grow rather than diminish from our mistakes. Struggle can create mastery and confidence.

We wouldn’t beat a puppy for peeing in a moment of excitement. Let’s not beat ourselves up.
Self-affirmation and self-compassion are extremely helpful too. Let’s see our strengths more often than weaknesses and focus on the truth that we are only human. No one is perfect. In acceptance, we free up energy to thrive. Hyper-perfectionism fuels shame. Competition may fuel shame or grandiosity.

Another technique for addressing the inner Critic is to talk with one’s inner self like a five-year-old. Speak with reassurance and encouragement for a wounded child who has been hurt or disappointed in herself. Write a scenario of how you would comfort a crying child, record it, then play it back to yourself. You will instill a voice of comfort, compassion, and encouragement. Tell the inner Critic, “You don’t need to try to protect me from failure or disappointment. I’ll be okay. Encourage me instead, please.”

Finally, getting out of self-focus sometimes helps us regain perspective and stability. Focus on the world, on service, on soul work too. Do acts of kindness and enjoy the beauty in the world beyond your head.