5 Strategies To Outsmarting Your Inner Critic & Silencing Negative Self-Talk

Invite your inner critic to serve you.

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You have an inner critic and it is never going to go away.

You would not have survived your childhood without your inner critic. It was there to keep you safe.

Your inner critic is that negative voice within you that lets you know when you are moving into dangerous territory. The trouble is that it also gets alarmed every time you try something new. 

RELATED: 4 Ways To Shut Down Your Inner Critic (For Good!)


While this part of your ego kept you safe when you were young, all that negative self-talk starts holding you back when you become an adult, making you lose all your confidence and self-esteem.

The more you become aware of when your inner critic is talking, the better able to you will be to tame this part of your ego.

Here are 5 strategies to outsmart your inner critic and silence all the negative self-talk.

1. Identify the voice.

It is important to learn the difference between the voice of your inner critic and the voice of your true self.

Your inner critic is loud and harsh. It is impatient and mean. Meanwhile, the voice of your true self is quiet, strong, and patient.


With practice, you will learn to notice what voice is speaking to you.

2. Notice your bodily sensations.

Your body is wise. It will rarely lie to you.

When you notice your inner critic speaking, pay attention to the sensations in your body. Often, your body will give you the first signal that your inner critic is active.

You might feel tension in parts of your body. Your jaw may feel tight and your throat might feel constricted. You may feel butterflies in your stomach. The tone of your voice may change and your chest may feel heavy.

When you start feeling tension in your body, take a moment to discern what is going on. Your body is wise and wants you to pay attention to something that is out of sync.


When your true self is speaking, you will feel peace in your body. Your muscles will feel calm and relaxed.

3. Notice your thoughts.

You have a wise mind. You are at your best when your mind is quiet.

When your inner critic wants to wreak havoc, it sends your mind into crazy thinking and negative self-talk. Your inner critic will do its best to create enough chaos to prevent you from trying anything new.

You can quiet that negative voice by learning to relax your mind. When you quiet your mind, your inner critic will eventually give up.

There are many practices to help you quiet your mind, including:

  • Mindfulness
  • Centering prayer
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Walking
  • Music
  • Gardening

Find a practice (or several) that work for you.


RELATED: 6 Ways To Shut Down Your Awful, Lying Inner Critic (To Focus On Positive Thoughts)

4. Identify the voice of your true self.

The good news is that you have all the wisdom you need within you. Your higher self is that part of you that knows best what you need.

The voice of your higher self will keep inviting you to listen. It will never attack or put you down. For those who are religious or spiritual, you can call your higher self your "spirit self" or "God-self."

When you follow your higher self, you are going to find greater joy, meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in life.

Finding the voice of your true self doesn’t mean your life is going to be easy, but it does mean more often than not you are going to feel self-assured. You will inwardly know what you need to do in each moment of your life.


The voice of your higher self will speak to you through your body, heart, and mind. The more open you are to your three energy centers, the better you will be able to move through the ups and downs of life.

5. Invite the inner critic to help.

Your inner critic is never going to go away, but one way to calm it down is to invite this part of you to support you in being your best.

Remember, your inner critic wants to keep you safe. Invite this part of you to support you in becoming the best you can be.

Ask it to remind you to:

  • Meditate or pray every day
  • Slow down and notice the wisdom of your body
  • Slow down and notice your emotions
  • Breathe deeply
  • Warn you when you start to feel negative
  • Alert you when your mind starts to become chaotic

Let your inner critic know how much you appreciate its support in helping you become the best person you can be.

When you begin to notice your inner critic at its worst, remind it — firmly and with authority — to support you being your best.

The more you can harness the energy of the inner critic for good, the less it is going to get in your way.

With all the negative thoughts out of the way, you will find space to listen to your true self. You will feel energized to begin new adventures and callings that will feel right in every cell of your body.


When you learn how to harness the energy of the inner critic, you are going to find the self-confidence to take on anything your higher self is calling you to.

With the negative energy of your inner critic out of the way, you will find your inner compass. By enlisting the help of your inner critic, you will find the power, strength, and courage to play your part in making the world a better place.

RELATED: How To Shut Down Your Inner Critic, By Enneagram Personality Type

Roland Legge is a life coach who offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by sending an email.