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Silencing the Inner Critic: Strategies for Overcoming Self-Doubt and Nurturing Self-Confidence

Of course, I have no idea if everyone has an inner critic, however many people do. When we are going about our daily lives, we are not always aware of our thoughts, but if we can begin to tune into them, we might just discover a thing or two. Naturally, bringing these unconscious thoughts into our reality is the first important step.

A condemning voice is how these thoughts are sometimes described—somewhat like a scalding parent, teacher, or elder.

Everything about these thoughts is extremely unhelpful and they can be a huge factor in the path our life takes. If we are constantly beating ourselves up with negative banter, how can we possibly be in a positive and productive frame of mind?

The good news. There is a great deal we can do to change this. Following a step-by-step process each time you catch one of these destructive thoughts can quite literally change your life.

Notice The Thought

This takes practice, but it's entirely doable. As you become more aware of the thoughts you are thinking you will begin to see a pattern of repetitive messages. You may even like to write them down when you catch them. By doing this you are cementing them even more solidly into your conscious mind making it easier to notice them in the future.

Ask Yourself This Question

When we look at a thought objectively, rather than believing it at first glance, we can change the trajectory of our lives. One simple question to ask yourself when you find yourself thinking a negative, critical, or judgemental thought is: Is this the truth? For example the limiting thought—I could never complete a marathon. Is this the truth? No, because there is no evidence that it's true.

Reframe The Thought

Now, if I trained for an event like this, I could complete a marathon if I chose to, even if I walked it. Therefore, I need to reframe this thought each time it comes into my mind with: I could complete a marathon if I chose to or I can complete a marathon if I choose to.

Dismiss The Thought

Sometimes our thoughts can be very unhelpful and dismissing them by not allowing ourselves to go there is useful. This approach is one I would only use when I know a thought is creating more angst repetitively. Let me explain. Over the years I've experienced health anxiety, even though my intuition is telling me I'm healthy, I'm not on any medications, and I don't have any diseases or illnesses. These are outdated anxious thoughts from a time when I was not so conscious. Now when I have these thoughts, I distract myself by diverting my attention to someone else and do not allow myself to go there. This takes practice but it is very helpful and gets easier over time.

Engage In Self Praise

When we are lacking self-confidence it's difficult to start to build it. What you can do is a daily practice of your accomplishments, big or small. Choose a time of day that works best for you and in your journal write down three things you felt proud of having achieved. Each week set aside a regular time (say on a Friday evening) to celebrate yourself and your week.

With regular practice over time, we can become more aware of our thoughts. Working with those thoughts as they arise may seem tedious at first, however, it will become second nature in time. Taking the time to examine, reframe, or dismiss the thought as appropriate will help you to choose the ones that are most useful. Armed with your positive and productive thoughts you will begin to create and attract to you, the life you want. As you work towards your goals, remember to acknowledge your accomplishments and celebrate yourself along.

With love,


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