ARTICLESMay 25, 2023

5 Ways To Stop Your Inner Critic

To Challenge Your Inner Critic, Ask Yourself the Following Five Questions:

1) Is this something I would say to someone I love?

We have a tendency to be harsh towards ourselves. In fact, you might find yourself saying cruel and mean things to yourself that you would never dream of saying to someone you care about. This is important to realize, because it shows a disconnect between how you treat someone you care about and how you treat yourself. Even if you don’t feel love towards yourself, you deserve kindness and care. Stopping the harsh self-comments (even if they are not said out loud) is an important step towards showing yourself more self-compassion.

2) Are there times I have said this to myself and it wasn’t true?

Your inner critic can seem powerful and even authoritative, but have you stopped to examine whether or not this inner critic is accurate? Biased negative thoughts about oneself are common occurrences in people who are self-critical and who have low self-esteem. When these thoughts are not challenged and left unchecked, they can lead to depression, anxiety and retreating from relationships, important goals and life.

3) Is this thought getting in the way of doing something important?

Not only does one’s inner critic make you feel depressed, anxious and not confident, it often prevents you from thinking (and dreaming) about what your ideal future could look like. Dreams and ambition become crushed by an inner critic, because people often feel they don’t feel confident or capable enough of getting the life they want.

4) How would I feel if I witnessed someone saying this to someone I care about?

Chances are you would have a very bad opinion of someone treating your loved one they way you treat yourself. You might feel protective of the person you care about and maybe even convince them of why those mean things aren’t true. You might feel sad and angry for the person you care about. Take some time to also think about what the impact or harm might be to your loved one? This can help you to see how you might be impacted by your inner critic.

5) Has thinking this thought ever been helpful to me before?

People will sometimes say that being hard on themselves, helps them to strive and accomplish things. Research on self-compassion shows the opposite, that this approach of harsh self-criticism can be damaging are is associated with negative mental health outcomes, including poorer physical health. If you habitually are self-critical, perhaps acknowledge that you don’t know what the impacts of being self-compassionate are if you have never tended to be self-compassionate.
What are some ways you’ve tried to address your inner critic?
The Momenta Clinic for Psychological Wellness provides therapy in Toronto and virtual services for adolescents and adults in Ontario who are experiencing low self-esteem, depression, anxiety or having a tendency to be self-critical. We have talented and compassionate clinicians ready to help you on your journey. We have a diverse team and we tailor our approach to fit the unique needs of every patient we serve. Get in touch with us if you would like to book a session!