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Silencing your inner critic

We all have an inner critic who tells us we're not good enough, but Paul Thornton offers strategies to silence that voice of doubt.

2 min read


inner critic

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We all make mistakes and experience some amount of rejection, failure and negative comments. Some are painful! We often suppress our feelings of inadequacy. However, these negative feelings and thoughts frequently bubble up to the conscious level and become our inner critic. 

  • “You’re not good enough.” “…smart enough.” “…or have the right connections.”
  • “You’re not good with financial analysis.” “…or dealing with conflict.” “…or networking.”  
  • “You’re an introvert. You can’t lead a team.” 

Some negative thoughts become our self-talk and get repeated over and over. They impact our confidence and limit our development.    

What can you do? 

    1. Become more aware of your thoughts. When negative thoughts occur, write them down.
    2. Analyze each thought for accuracy. Some thoughts may be partially true, but most include some inaccuracies and distortions.   
    3. Reframe inaccurate thoughts with accurate, positive statements. For example, instead of saying, “I’m terrible at making presentations.” say, “I am going to learn what I need to do to be a great speaker.”  
    4. Keep a journal and capture your accomplishments and the positive comments people say about you. This reinforces your confidence and self-esteem. 

When you change a negative thought to a positive one, you enter the arena of opportunity and growth. However, in some cases, you have to dig deeper to understand what caused the painful experience.  

  • What were the circumstances? 
  • What motivated the other person to say or do what they did? 
  • What issues do you think the other person was dealing with?    
  • What conclusions did you draw about yourself from the experience? Were they accurate and logical?
  • What can you learn about yourself from the experience? 

In some cases, you need to forgive the person who hurt you. Yes, it’s difficult, but it releases the grip the negative emotions have on your thinking and outlook. It allows you to move forward with confidence and clarity.  When you silence your inner critic, you remove the negative baggage that’s holding you back. 


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