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Saturday, January 11, 2014

6 Tips for Changing a Negative Inner Voice

           “Everyone has a self-talk critical voice in their head, but since my rape two years ago, mine has become meaner, more judgmental, critical and downright self-loathing toward myself. I feel like I don't have any control or power to stop it and don't feel like I deserve anything positive. The voice in my head has become so overwhelming that it is hard for me to even get through every day.” 

~ Anonymous Survivor 

After surviving acts of abuse, rape, trauma or natural disasters, a survivor’s self-talk in his or her head seems to intensify and take on a negative flavor against self. The inner voice can grow to the point it becomes very harsh, mean, judgmental self-loathing and defeating. 

The longer you feed, meaning paying attention to it, your inner voice gains more power and the greater influence over your life. 

My Story

"For myself as a survivor of childhood abuse and trauma, I always thought my inner voice which turned critical and mean was normal. I thought everyone hated themselves and put themselves down in their own head, It got more intense every time they failed at something or when things went wrong. The older I got I realized there was a possibility I was incorrect. 
After experiencing trauma so early in life and growing up as a victim and then a survivor, I use to wonder how well my mind would have worked before my inner critic got to it and turn my thinking negative? Would I have been happier?

What happened was I would mentally and emotionally beat myself up. I would slash myself into little pieces with my own words … even when every aspect in my life was going right. I mean good things were going my way and I would still be mentally lashing out at myself. I became extremely compliant and loyal to what my inner voice told me about me, what to do and not do. I let my inner voice rule my life. It dictated and influenced how to act, how to think, how to be and how to react. 

In time, I learned my negative thinking was self-flagellation or self punishment in order to sabotage myself because I felt I was not deserving or worthy of anything. I never did anything good for me because of the beliefs that formed in my mind due to my abuse was that I was not good enough. This type of negative thinking was far from helpful and only caused me to suffer and spiral down into a very dark place. My inner voice caused my self-loathe to grow even more powerful. 

As a result I escaped more frequently into my dissociative episodes and worked at numbing out my feeling. I became emotionless. Each time I dissociated, it became harder and harder to crawl out of my numbness. I failed to see anything good in myself and ended up abandoning myself."

My Inner Voice was My Worse Critic

I now know what I was hearing and experiencing was my inner voice as my inner critic and I felt it knew more about me than I did. I learned later the content of my inner critic came from my core beliefs about myself formed from experiencing my abuse and trauma growing up. The result from listening to my inner voice was my self-confidence, self-esteem, self-loyalty and self-love eroded away bit by bit. 

I blamed myself constantly for what happened to me as though it was my fault. I felt disconnected from my core self, and I always felt ashamed of myself.  The more I listened to it, the more I hated myself. My emotional suffering increased as my critical inner voice gained more and more influence and power over me. It seemed to govern my thoughts. Not only did my inner voice gain power over how I viewed myself it also strongly influenced my actions, thoughts, emotions and reactions. Not only did my inner voice skew how I reacted toward myself, but it also had an enormous amount of influence over how I reacted toward others and mostly the life situations I found myself in.

As I grew older, I learned I did not have to submit to what my inner voice said. I learned that I was not helpless and had the power to change how I related to myself in my head. I want to share how I took my learning and changed my negative thinking to positive thinking.

6 Tips on How to Change a Negative Inner Critic to Positive

Here are some specific tips on how you can quiet your inner critic and change it to positive. If you are diligent with these suggestions, you can replace your inner critic’s content, which will result in changing your inner thoughts to be positive and supportive.

Tip #1 

Become a friend and to know your inner critic. Learn its tone of voice, and its intentions.

Activate your observer self and listen to what is being said in your head. Listen to your inner critic from a third party perspective as if you are hearing it on the radio. Write each statement down. Recognize that each statement is an old criticism and an outright lie. These false statements were said to you at some point in your life by people close to you and society to attempt to ensure your emotional and physical safety. Or to make you a “stronger person” even though it did not feel that way.

Unfortunately the most power and hurtful criticisms came from your closest family to whom you were emotionally attached. Understand some of the criticisms were meant  Know that your mind does not have or express feeling. It just records the words and repeats them back through your inner critic. The replay is always automatic.

Tip #2 

Go deeper into each inner critic statement.

Explore each critical statement and determine if you truly deserve the negativity, doubt, judgment, self-limiting thoughts or criticism. 

Let your mind help you validate whether the content of your self-critical voice is true or false. Then note next to each critical statement who in your life said it and the situation or event where it occurred. The more you know the less power the critical content has. Find proof of why the criticism is wrong and unfounded. When you find the real truth, you will create a crack in that thought pattern and dissipate its power and influence, but that alone is not enough to achieve mental freedom.

Tip #3 

Create a realistic plan to change the content of your inner critic.

List one new positive statement to counteract each bit of critical content that would increase your self-worth and value.

Tip #4 

Stick with the program.

Accept and feel a deep obligation for your action plan. Follow through daily for 90 days. You need to now accept that you are in charge of how you think about yourself, what you believe about yourself, what you are capable of, and how you will perform successfully.

I find that I get the best results and most success when I keep track of these activities. Track yourself by keeping a journal of your progress. That way you will be able to see your commitment, day by day for those 90 days. Keeping track of what I do daily helps me to recognize when I fall off my action plan and motivates me to get back on track.

Tip #5 

Hang out with people who think positive and are supportive to you and make you feel comfortable.

Be around people who see and experience you in a positive light, support you and know you as you really are. Let people who love you reflect the real you back to you. Start hanging out with people who could use support and reflect back to them how you see them in a positive light. Practice the balance of receiving and giving positive content about each other.

Tip #6

Earn respect from your inner critic.

You do not have to listen or do what your inner critic tells you do. Take your personal authority back and change the content of your inner critic to inner supporter. 

Take Away

Understand that your inner critic was formed in your mind
in an attempt to protect you, be it through doubt, judgment, second guessing, negative or critical statements. But don't let your inner voice influence your life or direct your thoughts. Earn respect from your mind by forming your own thoughts. You have that power. Once you decide this, the rest is pretty much practice and patience.

You, too, can change your mind code that feeds your inner critic. Stop your self-limiting, self-sabotaging and self-defeating self-talk with the 30 Day Mind Challenge in just one month. Start today! 

Sign up today for the 30 Day Mind Challenge you can alter the content of your inner critic and, therefore, be more positive and successful in your thoughts … and that will manifest in your life.

           Coach Bill


Learn More

And don't forget to keep up on all my blogs and self-improvement tips at for Life Coaching and for Post Trauma Issues 

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