3 Steps to Silence Your Inner Critic
Imagine you are with a friend in an art gallery and you're looking at a painting. You and your friend are talking about all the flaws in the painting. Then you realize the artist is near by and heard your words! How do you think the artist feels at this point? Well guess what! You are that painting created by God. How do you think God feels when you pick out every flaw of His creation? It breaks God's heart because He adores you and you are wonderfully made, in all your uniquenesses, by Him.
1. Why Do We Allow Our Inner Critic into our Hearts?
Sometimes, we are listening to a voice from our past. It could be a parental figure, a harsh teacher, or an abusive ex. These voices are so engrained in us, it's hard to resist giving in to those past voices.
A mistake can rattle us and we have a hard time getting past it.
Low self-esteem can trigger negative thoughts towards ourselves.
Depression also wreaks havoc on how we think about ourselves.
2. The Damage of a Dominating Inner Critic
Being self-critical on a regular basis will lead us to self-sabotage. We are literally working against ourselves and God!
Criticizing yourself, mentally, limits your potential. It keeps you from trying new things, meeting new friends, and excelling in your dreams and goals.
It gets you STUCK in life. When we give in to those thoughts on a regular basis, it's hard to move forward in any capacity.
Also negative thinking binds the angels hands from working in our lives. Do you believe in angels? God says that He sends angels to clear our path and move our lives in a positive direction. However, negative thinking and speaking creates a barrier between us, the angels, and God!
3. Three Things You Can Do to Change
A. Flip the Script! Find the voice of inner compassion! Create a polar opposite of your Inner Critic. We'll call it your, "Inner Friend." The emphasis should not be who you are but who you are becoming. Choose to speak kindly to yourself before the inner critic creeps in. Affirm yourself when you do something well or you are kind to someone. Simply say, "I did pretty well in that situation." Or, "I am a kind person. I care about others."
B. Don't let your Inner Critic dominate your Inner Friend. Give your Inner Friend the loudest voice. Notice when your emotions are high or you are frustrated or angry with yourself. This probably means you are criticizing yourself or you about to. Have a laser focus to recognize you are slipping into critic mode. When you do, say firmly, in your mind: "NOT TRUE!" You are God's painting! You are cherished and loved by God and He has plans for you!
C. Talk to God. Ask God to help you set boundaries in the way you talk to yourself. Tell God exactly how you feel, even if it is negative. Be brutally honest. Ask God to help you embrace His Word. There are countless scriptures that proclaim God's love for you, regardless of your habits or your past. Ask God to help you to stop berating yourself and God will help you! You will be more content and happy when you agree with God that YOU are special and His divine creation.