The Inner Critic

My close friend often hears kind words from me, but just as often he is trying his best to dismiss them, invalidate them. He didn’t hear many kind words in his life, admittedly. As a friend, I can’t disclose much of his inner world, but my point would be it is full of voices of criticism he kept hearing through the years. They became a part of his interior, and seemingly he can’t function without them as if he would make the same mistakes over and over if he stopped listening to them. That might be one explanation why he, we are holding so tightly onto them.

I don’t think there are many people out there without their inner critics. They can be too harsh when one is feeling anxiety, and they can prolong and deepen some feelings.

I used to think I am doing so much better than my friend. After all, at least I could accept a compliment from someone close. But these voices are layers and layers of dirt or rust that are gathering as the years go by. We really need to do some work and investigate our beliefs about ourselves. Which ones are our own and which ones are the ones we owned, but kept hearing from someone else? Naturally, we need feedback, but what if it is uninformed or even malicious?

I’ll give a simple example. As a kid I was very good at school, I dare to say I excelled. So by stereotypical logic, I couldn’t be considered pretty nor good at sports. I started believing that and I lost interest in sports.

When I left my small town for university, I finally got the chance for swimming that I enjoyed in the summers only and especially Wing Chun. I was good at both, and in Wing Chun, I excelled! Beyond my wildest dreams. Even when diagnosed years later, I would go to the small gym to work out with the man who brought the martial art to this part of the world for some three, four hours.

Good thing that I didn’t listen to this inner voice! I expected I would be clumsy, but I tried anyway. And guess what! And even if I was clumsy but enjoying myself?

Another point that I want to make is that I wasn’t even aware I soaked in that prejudice based on my school success. And that wasn’t the only one, but one of the many. I want to repeat: I am not trying to say we shouldn’t listen to feedback, I wish to say that we shouldn’t let other peoples unconfirmed and uncritical opinions undermine us. When something is repeated so many times, opinion based on cherry-picking methodology, it can grow solid and soon we can give up on things we always wanted to do. I wanted to be a Wing Chun practitioner since I was a child, and if I wasn’t so persistent, I would have missed the joy of it when given a chance.

Don’t let the choirs of the voices from outside bring you down. Inspect why you think you are not good at something or no good in general. Try talking to close people. And most of all, dare and risk. Try some inner hygiene samely as you would clean your room. Above all, try.

14 thoughts on “The Inner Critic

  1. Nice post! I’m glad I’d stumbled upon your site. 😊

    This is a really nice way of saying that we are not perfect but we can definitely improve if we just try.

    People will always have something to say. It’s up to our inner critic to use what they said as a tool to review our own progress/life and try to be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an inspiring post. What a wonderful idea, inner hygiene, to clear our thoughts and stop the inner critic from running our lives. You’ve not only identified the critical voice, you’ve shown us there are remedies. Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We are always fine tuning always doing our best & ultimately that is good enough. Advise your friend that everything is helpful to enjoy never endure. Alas ultimately we will never understand how truly amazing are. Rest assured as soon as you feel down refresh by stating I truly don’t deserve to feel down. We are never alone our almighty creator is always with us. You are an absolute asset totally fit for purpose keep up the inspiration it truly is what your best at. Sincere love always.x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely words! I think most of us are our own worst enemies most of the time, but I strongly believe through effort and putting yourself out there, you can begin to silence the critics inside your own head. Keep going. Keep showing up! Thanks for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so true. Sometimes, our best enemy is ourselves but we should always found our way to bounce back up. I love your insights given through this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great article. I have suffered from listening a bit too much to my inner critic at times. I call it The Bully, and cognitive behavioural therapy is helping me work on how to put the voice back in its box when I need to, and also to change my core beliefs about myself. Has your friend undergone any therapy? Because it really does help. I didn’t think so for the longest time, but once I gave it a try, I was pleasantly surprised.

    Liked by 2 people

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