Your inner critic is always with you. You know the one I’m talking about.
That soft, nagging voice that keeps popping into your head. The one you can’t get rid of. The one that comes back at inopportune times, when you least expect it. You want to banish your inner critic, but you can’t.
To soften its effect, you try distracting yourself. You try changing your thoughts and focusing on something else. But, no matter what you do, those unwanted thoughts and feelings keep coming back.
So how can you get rid of your inner critic? Is there a way you can purge your inner critic, once and for all?
Habits and Your Inner Critic
Most of your daily activities are habits. So is your negative self-talk, your inner critic. Your inner critic is a series of thoughts that float through your subconscious mind.
If you can learn to have better control over these thoughts, you can take change of your feelings and behaviors. This control can give you better responses in various situations. Better responses can lead to success in many areas of your life.
How Your Physiology Affects You
You discover the world through your senses. Through discovery you learn what to expect. Your expectations teach you how to interpret your experiences. But often, your expectations don’t equal reality.
For example, the thought of riding a roller coaster gives you certain “feelings”. These feelings are your labels to these physiological reactions. One person might label that feeling as excitement. Another might label it as fear. Same stimulus, completely different response.
This happens because, by themselves, experiences have no “meaning”. They gain meaning when you attach thoughts and feelings to them. That’s when experiences can begin to control you.
Thoughts and feelings are neither positive or negative. It’s how you label them that colors your view. This labeling is a result of the emotion you attach to your experiences.
Here’s the problem. Like most people, you often label what you feel incorrectly. If the feeling is negative, you get stuck with that association.
Why? Because the association becomes your belief.
What is Real?
Your reality is a result of your beliefs. Your beliefs come from feelings about your experience. But as you already discovered, your beliefs aren’t necessarily true. They are what you associated with an experience. So, if you associated negative feelings with an experience, those negative feelings will appear again.
Beliefs also tend to distort your “reality.” Your mind will search for evidence that supports your beliefs. It will also reject anything that does not support it.
NLP can help you change this patter and silence your inner critic. That’s what we’ll be talking about next.
In my book, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: The Convergence of Mind, Body and Spirit, I teach the Five-R process. The five R’s are recognize, record, remind, replace and repeat. Using this process, you can banish your inner critic once and for all.
In the first step, I teach is that to change your thinking you must recognize your thoughts. This means you have to pay attention to these thoughts. The only way you can change anything is to be aware of it.
Next you need to record what you’re hearing your inner critic saying. Then, when you get home at night, you’ll analyze what you’re hearing. You’ll also analyze what triggers these negative thoughts.
After you analyze your negative self-talk, you’ll start to look for counter arguments to what you’ve been telling yourself. These counter arguments will help you realize these negative thoughts are not true.
Next, you’re going to use the evidence you found in the remind step to create a replacement phrase. The replacement phrase will be used to break the connection between the thoughts and feelings you have attached to your triggers.
Here’s the final part of the Five R process. This is the part that will help you banish your inner critic once and for all.
When your inner critic starts talking to you, you’ll use your replacement phrases to break the connection. As the connection between your thoughts and feeling gets interrupted, your mind will begin to discard them. Now your replacement phrase can, well, replace them.
Practicing the Five R Process
One way to use the Five R Process is to practice in advance.
When negative thoughts occur, it can result in anxiety and fear. This can make it difficult to use your replacement phrase the moment your negative thoughts appear.
So, you’ll do what martial artists do. You’ll start practicing in advance. Rather than waiting for a negative thought to arise, you can choose to intentionally call up the thought.
As you deliberately think the unwanted thought, associate into it. See, hear and feel what’s going on in your body. Now repeat your replacement phrase. Practice this exercise at various times during the day.
This is how to use practice to banish your inner critic.
Begin Using the Five-R Process to Banish Your Inner Critic Today
Begin using the Five-R process today. What you’ll find will, at first, seem amazing.
As you practice, your brain starts to learn that your thought is something that you can control. You can switch it on or off at will. It is no longer automatic, out of your control. Instead, your replacement phrase will become automatic.
Now instead of having the negative, pessimistic thought, your optimistic thought will appear. Now you know how to banish your inner critic, once and for all.
About the Author:
Wil Dieck is an author, speaker, college professor and researcher. He is also a master hypnotherapist, NLP Trainer and master martial arts instructor. For the past forty years, he has taught people, from a variety of backgrounds, how to create and maintain the habits of success.
Wil runs a leadership and peak performance coaching practice in San Diego, California. He helps his clients create the belief systems of successful people and leaders, allowing them to make the most of their personal and professional lives.
Wil is also a professor of psychology and business at San Diego University for Integrated Studies.
FREE Course Teaches How to Silence Your Inner Critic
Wil’s books include the highly ranked Amazon Kindle book, “Secrets of the Black Belt Mindset, Turing Simple Habits into Extraordinary Success”. This book is a step-by-step guide of how to create success habits.
He has also written NLP:Unlock YOur Dreams, a easy to read guidebook on the basics of NLP.
He also wrote “Modern Mindfulness, A Beginners Guide on How to Find Peace and Happiness in a Busy World”. This book can help anyone learn how to improve their mindfulness and focus.
Most recently, he wrote “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: The Convergence of Mind Body and Spirit”. This book teaches how to snap into a peak performance state. This state gives people more energy and focus to get more done.