“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
Criticism is a form of self-denial that, in extreme cases, can lead to self-abandonment. Criticism is based on disapproval of the self, and its seed is planted very early in our childhood. Children that have been raised by authoritarian caregivers, or by perfectionist parents, tend to develop into overly-judgemental adults.
The critic’s problem is not with others, even if it may seem that way, his conflict is within himself. But because it is easier to deflect than to observe and notice, the faultfinder always sees what’s wrong with the world. In his view, if everyone would just change their behavior to match his own vision, he would finally be at ease, and the world would be a better place.
When you start doing the work for a balanced body, mind, and spirit, things become clearer, and you get in contact with the inner critic. You then notice how its voice seems to be ongoing. What your inner commentator talks about is never the real solution to your problems, but the same sad story of you not being good enough.
The inner critic underlines only the aspects of yourself that you haven’t accepted yet. By doing this, it weakens your self-worth and keeps you in a continuous state of displeasure. As you believe what your inner critic is saying, you become more irritable and bitter.
If you have struggled for a while with self-judgement, here are five ways to silence the critical voice:
Doubt your thoughts
“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” ~ Honore de Balzac
Whenever you cannot refrain from thinking fault-finding thoughts, ask yourself if what comes to your mind is indeed true. Remember that how you perceive life and how the world is, are two different things. Your point of view is always subjective and unique. Self-criticism is like wearing distorting glasses. You lose contact with the authentic self by desperately disapproving of the things you see, feel and do.
Take a step back
Self-judgement is a thinking pattern that affects the majority of us. As long as you are completely identified with the image of yourself that your mind has created, you will have a hard time breaking out of the program you have conditioned yourself to believe. Detachment is the key to your mental freedom. You can liberate yourself by simply observing your thoughts without getting caught up in your personal story.
“Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” ~ Louise L. Hay
Criticism is the opposite of self-love. This being said, self-judgment has nothing to do with personal and spiritual growth, but it has everything to do with putting yourself down on a regular basis and surrendering to the inner saboteur. By loving yourself fully, you unify yourself. Love naturally transforms you from within and harmonizes the aspects of the self that need care.
“When you do not seek or need approval, you are at your most powerful.” ~ Caroline Myss
Most of us live in societies that promote separation and invisibility, improper communication and dishonesty. Establishments like these put individuals in boxes and thrive on emotional oppression. The norm in modern societies is to look away from what you are feeling and to become what other people expect you to be. By not committing to yourself, you become empty on the inside; you become disconnected from your inner compass.
The cure is validation. What you are going through belongs only to you, can be seen and integrated only by you, and it needs your unconditional attention. Focus inward and make space for your thoughts and emotions. Look at them, receive the message they are sending, and mindfully choose what to do with this new information.
Stop competing with others
“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~ Unknown
The term self-development explains itself. You work with yourself to become the best version you can be today. As we were raised to see ourselves in relation to others, we always strive to be better than the fellow next to us. Competitiveness is a toxic pattern that steals our peace of mind and amplifies the lack of self-worth. Focus on yourself more and respect the processes of the people around you. No one can walk a mile in your shoes, and you cannot completely comprehend the path of another.
Silencing the inner critic takes time and requires you to invest your energy in the process. As you bond with yourself more, the judgmental voice starts to fade away. It may never be totally gone, but you will learn how to listen to and gracefully handle it.