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Stop Your Critical Inner Voice

inner voice

The critical inner voice usually comes from early life experiences that are internalized and taken in as a way of thinking about ourselves. Everyone has a critical inner voice. No one can escape that. People with low self-esteem simply have a more vicious inner voice. Your inner voice compares you to others, sets impossible standards, relives failures and ignores your strengths and calls you names.

Your critical inner voice could be your mother, your father, a spouse, your boss, or your own voice. It can be an internal enemy that can affect every aspect of your life conveying self-esteem, lack of confidence, self-doubt as well as affecting your personal and intimate relationships. The problem with the critical voice is that it undermines your self-esteem and is completely interwoven with your thoughts. Thoughts play a powerful role in determining how people feel and how they behave. If you thinks positively about something, you will probably feel positively about it. Conversely, if you think negatively about something, whether it is true or not, you will feel negatively about it. Your critical inner voice is bad for you because it is almost always believed and it does not just use words, but images as well. Cognitive restructuring is the therapeutic process of identifying and challenging negative and irrational thoughts. Many of these thoughts are called cognitive distortions.

Here are the steps for changing your critical inner voice:

  • Hear the critic; you cannot change anything you don't know is there. If you are not paying attention to it, you are actually reinforcing it.

  • Jot down how many times in a day you hear the critic and keep a thought record.

  • Listen for telltale signs of critical thinking; automatic thoughts, very quick phrases or sentences.

  • When repetitive thoughts occur, say “STOP”.

Research indicates that to change behavior, it is more effective to stop telling yourself negative things than to just tell yourself positive things. It is not so much the power of positive thinking as it is the power of acknowledging negative thinking and letting it pass.

At the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, we have a team of licensed professionals available day, evening and weekend hours who can assist in promoting a positive self esteem and help you with positive cognitive restructuring. We treat individuals, families, children, adolescents and couples. I can be reached by email or call 908-322- 0112

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