Managing the Inner Critic

“We all have that inner voice that is wise, even if we don’t always follow it. It’s that voice I’m trying to listen to.”

– Ray Lamontagne


I don’t know about you, but I find myself talking to myself a lot. Not out loud(most of the time at least) but I notice an underlying dialogue present through most of my days and it has a fairly significant impact on my mood. Sometimes I enjoy this inner conversation, while other days, I wish the voice or combination of voices would just take a hike. I think it is important for us to flush out what is taking place with this interior dialogue and take some sort of command over it instead of being at the mercy of the critical element of the inner voice.

 Most of the time inner talk is experienced as a singular voice, but upon further reflection, it is a combination of many voices that surround your life. At times you may be in a situation and hear the influence of your family members come through. Other times you might catch a hint of the influence of a friend or society’s opinion. Some of these voices are healthy while others are a plague to our well-being. In essence, if we don’t take notice of the influence that is forming this inner dialogue and judgment around your life, you are a slave to those voices instead of listening to your authentic self. I know personally, it can be difficult to cut through the noise of others opinions to see the moment at hand with a clear voice that builds self-esteem instead of one that breaks us down with irrational judgment.

I think this critical nature of our inner talk is necessary to an extent to correct our faults and take action in our life, but when the negative talk is the pervading narrative taking place in your head, it’s not only destructive but causes you to live a delusion. No one has time and energy for that nonsense and if not corrected it will zap your light.

Though these negative elements of the inner voice were constructed through false judgments and were largely absorbed at a subconscious level, it is ultimately our responsibility to clear the junk and refine this inner voice. It’s always helpful to have support systems that help build you up and you can call upon these positive voices when needed, but we can’t solely rely on them. We must take charge of the positive self-talk from within and deepen that channel with our authentic voice.

It is easier said than done to listen to our true voice, but there are hacks we can use to begin cutting through the nonsense noise. For me, engaging in music and other art forms help me get into what is termed as a “flow state” allowing me to be present with the task at hand. In these flow states time tends to disappear and we function more intuitively instead of using the rational mind.  The negative voices don’t have enough power to disturb your peace when you are 100% engaged in a life driven activity. Art works for some and exercise is another amazing tool to dig deeper into your authentic self.

The most powerful tactic I have found though is some form of meditation. It creates a space for you to first accept the voices that are present, good or bad, and slowly let the negative ones go while working with the positive ones. There are numerous forms of meditation and I want to dive a little further into the nature of meditation in an upcoming post. For now though, I want us to reflect on our inner dialogue and begin carving a path back to our authentic voice. Please feel free to leave comments and open further discussion on this matter. Thanks for the read and just know that your true voice does exist and you have the tools to rediscover it.