We all have internal critics. The ones that tell us what we can’t possibly do, how we’re sure to screw up if we even try.
Those voices may never shut up. Mine sure haven’t.
But recently I had an epiphany. Just because I hear voices in my head, doesn’t mean I have to heed them.
As Vincent Van Gogh once said: “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you can not paint,’ by all means paint and the voice will be silenced.”
Instead I just keep reminding myself: that’s not my voice. It’s the voice of my dad, the culture, teachers, something ‘out there.’ But it isn’t mine.
Then I simply say to that voice: Thank you for sharing. Then I replace that critical voice with a more positive statement, a personal mantra or affirmation.
And no matter how reluctant I feel, I force myself to do what I need to do.
It happened to me recently. I was asked to participate in a project that scared the hell out of me. My inner critic kept warning me, unmercifully, “You can’t do that. You’ll fail miserably.”
I didn’t argue. Nor did I ignore it. Instead, I replaced that voice with a louder one that kept reassuring me, “I can handle that.”
Did I believe it at first. Of course not.
But I kept repeating it over and over again—“I can handle that”—until the project I dreaded, actually became fun and was a huge success.
How do you deal with that negative voice in your head? Leave me a comment below.