ATTACHMENT DETAILS Overcome Your Inner Critic

Overcome Your Inner Critic

Overcoming your inner critic is crucial for personal growth. To do so, acknowledge and identify the negative thoughts that fuel it. Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations and surround yourself with supportive people. Be patient, take small steps forward, and celebrate your progress. With perseverance and self-care, you can overcome your inner critic and achieve your goals. 

Guest Post

Overcoming Your Inner Critic

The emotional agony was overwhelming and debilitating. I didn’t know how to stop the battle that was waging war inside my mind day and night, night and day, I couldn’t see a way out. The mental torment was more than I could bare.
I begged and pleaded over and over again with God to please help me…to please take the pain away. The self-berating continued within my mind. It was some of its finest work. I was spent, lifeless – emotionally and physically. I could barely lift my head or my outstretched hands in prayer as I begged and pleaded with God over, and over, again. But my plea for help soon became a plea to take me, to take my life. I was done. I didn’t want to live another second. I wanted to go “home” and live with Jesus. Looking back, I was not in control of my own life. I was being controlled by my thoughts and the voice inside my head. I wore masks to hide the pain, usually a big smile. If anyone were to ask if I was ok, in my three higher octave voice, I would always reply, “I’m fine.” I isolated
myself and withdrew from most of the world. I was a hollow shell of a person devoid of any feeling besides pain and anguish. Had I only paid more attention to all of the signs throughout the years as God was trying to get my attention. Had I only known then what I know now about how to overcome my inner critic
and find inner peace, I wouldn’t have had to experience the depths of pain, the suffering, or the mental torment, and neither do you!
Do you have a nagging voice inside your head? An inner critic that repeatedly tells you that are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or any of the other “enoughs”? Do you feel hopeless or like you can’t do anything right?

Relevant Reading: What Is ‘Imposter Syndrome & How To Overcome it?

Let me ask you a question…
What do we sit on to relax when we are tired of standing? It’s usually associated with a kitchen table.
Yes, a chair.
And here’s another one…
What do we drive that has an engine and four rubber tires?
Yes, a car.
So, how did you know to call those things a chair and a car? If I had to guess, your reply is,
“because my parents told me so when I was a child.” 

You believe certain things because your parents, a guardian, or someone close to you growing up, told you so. 
So what else did they tell you? (And realize “they,” could be a sibling, relative, teacher, neighbor, or friend.)
Did anyone ever call you stupid, dumb, ugly, fat, too skinny, or say that you will never amount to be anything? Or maybe, that someone said you can’t dance, sing, play a musical instrument, do math, or that you were a mistake?
That was “their” belief system – and unfortunately, for many of us, we chose to adopt it and live with it through our adult years…hence, our inner critic. 
“Formative years” are between birth and eight years old. It was our early childhood years. “A time in our life that has lifelong physical, social, and emotional impacts. While positive experiences and environments can set up a young child on a stronger life-long path, traumatic
experiences or environments during those formative years can have a long-lasting, detrimental impact.” *

So, take a moment and think, what comments were said to you during these essential formative years that you have come to believe to be true about yourself? Which lies have taken root in your mind because you’re borrowing someone else’s belief system? Which lies does your inner critic repeat in your mind, over and over again?  
Well, the good news is that we don’t have to be held hostage to our inner critic or our “borrowed belief system.” We can learn how to overcome it.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37

So, when your inner critic tells you that you aren’t good enough, or that you can’t do something, trust and believe in God, rather than your borrowed belief system from your formative years. No matter how loud, or relentless, your inner critic is, no matter how much it tries to wear you down, you can choose to replace its lies with truth from the Bible. 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

It’s important to remember that God does not want you to be weighed down by negative thoughts and emotions. He is always there to help in times of distress. We can find a way out if we trust in God.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

As a Christian Faith Coach, when I speak at retreats, conferences, or colleges, or when I work with my clients who are struggling with their inner critic, we do interactive exercises, one of them being journaling. I share many reasons for the importance of this exercise, but more than anything, I explain because thoughts hold you captive in life. When you write your thoughts down, you confront your “live-in companion”… what’s inside your mind. It reveals the negative things you think or believe about yourself that aren’t true! You are literally able to “see” who
your “live-in companion” is and how he or she has been influencing your decisions and holding you back in life. How he or she is causing pain and creating suffering in your life.
If you were to bottle all of the negativity your inner critic says about you, and it was an actual person speaking to you, would you allow that person to be in your life? Of course not…then why do you? 

How would your life look if you chose not to listen to your inner critic? Would you have a different profession or different partner in life? Would your friend base be different? Would your finances or housing be different? 
These are only a few of the tough questions you will need to ask yourself when learning how to overcome your inner critic. As I said, journaling is only one strategy of many that I share when working with clients. But the truth of the matter is, if you want to find peace from your inner critic, all you need to do is look at your faith because faith equals peace and peace equals faith.
They’re like best friends, two peas in a pod. And I’m not talking about surface-level, or superficial, faith. I’m talking about the type of faith that changes who you are from the inside out. I’m talking about actually believing-believing when you can’t see it or see your way out of it [whatever situation you are in] but you trust God whole heartedly.
My life changed that afternoon kneeling beside my bed when I was at my lowest of lows begging and pleading with God to take me. It was a few months after I was blindsided by a divorce and my family unit was torn apart. I had been a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t have a job or any money
of my own. My whole world as I knew it, no longer existed, and I didn’t see a way out…but God did.

“God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation
he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

When I was calling out to God, I was blessed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The only way to describe it was that a slow wave of energy entered my body from the left side and exited through the right. And there at that moment, my life was changed forever. Instantly, all of the physically debilitating emotional pain I was experiencing was gone, vanished in a split second. At first, I had absolutely no idea what had happened to me. I believed in God, but thought He was just this
“person” up in the clouds that looked down upon me, who I prayed to during times of trouble, or in this case, despair. But in that instant when the weight of the world was on my shoulders, the emotional pain I was
experiencing (which is truly impossible to fully convey with words), and the relentless and ruthless inner critic was playing havoc with my mind, I experienced peace, euphoric inner peace. 

I pushed myself up off the bed and began to move my arms and legs in a manner as if a marionette puppet. (The same arms I could barely lift in prayer, or legs that no longer support me, because they were so heavily weighed down with exhaustive emotional pain.) I now had enough energy to literally go run a marathon. 
As I said, at first, I had no idea what had just happened, but what I did know was pain, and now I knew peace, AND that God was real. I BELIEVED-BELIEVED and since then, my life has never been the same.

” I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” ~Galatians 2:20

Please understand, as you grow in faith, you will still have bouts with your inner critic. I still do, all of the time, she never goes away. I was once even at the point of emotional despair again. But it was different. I understood who my inner critic is. I understood the negative voice inside my head was a liar and will always do its best to keep me hostage to my own thoughts. But the difference was, I choose to spend less time with it or remain hostage to my own thoughts. 
Your inner critic will always be there and look for ways to knock you down. However, you get to decide how long will you stay down and be a prisoner? The inner critic is ever so sneaky, like a lion delicately inching its way closer and closer to its prey. It slips into your mind with one little negative thought waiting to see if you will take the bait. And if you do, the inner critic will slip in another negative thought, and then another, until you are weighed down in despair.
How do you prevent that from happening? By being cognizant of your thoughts, and the moment a negative one tries to come in “close the door” and mentally run the other way. It is far easier to
stay away from the “pit,” rather than to fall in and have to climb your way out of it. When negative thoughts begin to enter your mind, kick them out, as if a bad roommate. Do not “live”
with the poison and lies of the devil or with the lies of your borrowed belief system from your formative years. 
Here are a few ways in which you can “stay away from the pit.” You will need to find which ones work best for you:

1. Literally, talk back to your thoughts and say out loud “Oh NO devil, you have controlled my mind for far too long, I refuse to believe your lies.”

2. Repeatedly quote scripture over and over until the negative thoughts go away.

3. If you are sitting on the sofa or lying in your bed, GET UP and move, do something different. I.e., Go for a walk, exercise, shop, clean the bathroom, swing on the swings with your kids. It doesn’t matter what you chose to do, just do something different that
involves movement.

4. Turn your favorite music on…LOUD, and sing. Fill your mind with lyrics rather than thoughts.

5. Get to know your inner critic, name him or her. Learn the tendencies of when he/she shows up in your life, pay attention to familiar patterns, and learn your inner critic’s verbiage, aka, lies.

For additional strategies, visit her website  and download a FREE digital copy of her Best-Selling Book, Overcome Your Inner Critic: God’s Way in How to Go From Your Emotional Rollercoaster of Ups and Downs to Inner Peace, or grab your paperback copy on Amazon today.  

*NC Department of Health and Human Services, Why Early Childhood Matters,

About the Author

overcome your inner critic

Debra Rieder

Debra Rieder is a Best-Selling Author, Speaker, and Christian Faith Coach. She is recognized as an engaging speaker that empowers, inspires, and motivates audiences with a relatable message for young and old, alike. She has spoken on stage with the likes of Jack Canfield, Co-Creator of #1 NY Times Chicken Soup for the Soul®. Her goal and passion in life is to prevent unhealthy emotional cyclical patterns from being passed from one generation to the next.

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