Quieting Your Inner Critic

Are you your own worst critic? This is something so many of us struggle with.

I’m not thin enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not good enough, I’m not enough enough… Or I didn’t eat exactly what I should’ve eaten, I didn’t lose weight this week, I’m a failure…

When you think of communication, you probably think of two people, sitting and having a conversation. Or maybe you think of a speaker talking to a group like we do here in toastmasters.

What you probably don’t think of is you, talking to yourself, in your head!

Do you know that we communicate with ourselves more than we communicate with anyone else?

I found a few statistics that you might be interested in. We humans, it seems, have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, and according to some research, as many as 80 percent of our thoughts are negative.

80%!! What kind of impact does that have on your life and what can you do to turn that around?

It’s in our nature to think negative thoughts about everything, including ourselves. Our brains are hardwired that way for survival. We’re constantly looking for danger and trying to keep ourselves safe.

This may have been necessary back in the caveman days, when we were hunting for our food and running away from the saber tooth tiger, who was also hunting for his food, but this type of thinking doesn’t serve us well anymore.

Our thoughts create our feelings, and our feelings determine our actions, or our inaction.

Your thoughts create your feelings. This means if you’re constantly thinking things like, “I’m going to embarrass myself,” or “No one is going to talk to me,” as you walk you into a cocktail party, you’re probably going to feel very nervous and, and won’t be as approachable, which basically makes your thoughts come true. Or, if you’re thinking, “I’m never going to get this job,” in the middle of an interview, you most likely won’t feel very confident, which again could cause your thoughts to come true. Very often, those negative thoughts can quickly turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We all have that friend or family member who has such terrible luck, they’re always having the worst possible things happening to them. One thing after another. Why do you think that is? Maybe they’re just always waiting for the next bad thing to happen, so it does.

Your thoughts have such a big impact on how you feel and behave, which can cause negative self-talk to become completely self-destructive. Telling yourself that you’ll never be successful or that you aren’t as good as someone else will only cause you to view yourself as less-than and unworthy, and will consistently hold you back from facing your fears and going after the big thing that you really want.

I tend to be very analytical and direct in my communication style, which means I’m that way when I think about myself as well. I’m always critiquing myself and looking for what I did wrong of what I need to do better, even sometimes comparing myself to others that are good at the things I want to be good at. This is something that I’ve recently started to be much more conscious of.

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Here are 5 things that I’ve done, and that you can try as well, to turn that kind of thinking around, so that it serves you in a way that helps you grow and progress instead of holding yourself back:

  1. First step is to be more aware of your thoughts about yourself. You can’t change it if you’re not aware of it. Catch yourself when you start to criticize yourself in a negative way. If you’re thinking, I’m not good at speaking, turn it around and think, I’m getting better every day at speaking.

  2. Don’t ruminate in your negative thoughts. If you have a negative thought, acknowledge it, and move on. Don’t sit and stew in it, causing things to spiral out of control into a pity party that goes on and on.

  3. Ask yourself what advice you’d give to a friend. If you have a negative thought about yourself, ask yourself if you’d criticize your best friend or your child that way, and what would you say to them instead.

  4. Look for the evidence. When a negative thought occurs, ask yourself is this true? Often times we exaggerate the truth in our minds, and it gets bigger and bigger until it’s nowhere near the truth anymore.

  5. What’s the worst that could happen? If you’re worried that you’ll embarrass yourself, or that you won’t get the job, what’s the worst thing that could happen? And can you live with that? Once you think about the worst possible outcome and your feelings in response to that, you’ve already experienced it. At that point you know that you’ll survive no matter what the outcome.

The most important person you communicate with is yourself. The private conversations you have with yourself can be either a powerful stepping stone or a major obstacle to reaching your goals.

You can recognize areas where you want to improve, or you can cause your performance to suffer making it impossible reach your goals. Learning to use some of these techniques to quiet your inner critic can help you to coach yourself in a productive helpful way so that no matter what your goals are, they’re always within your reach.

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Recipe

SWEET POTATO TOAST

This couldn’t be easier, especially if you’re prepping meals for the week. This step is easily done ahead of time, ensuring the glorious possibility of sweet potato toast every single day. Crazy, right?

  • Preheat the oven to 400F

  • On a baking sheet, lay a lightly greased sheet of parchment paper for easy removal

  • Slice sweet potatoes about 1/4″ thick and lay them flat on the sheet

  • Bake for 13-15 minutes

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF…

So, you have your toast. Now what? It’s time to tap into your inner food artist. Truly, you can pile your sweet potato rounds high with whatever floats your boat, but here are some awesome ideas to get you inspired.

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  • tuna salad

  • egg salad

  • bacon and eggs

  • plain ol’ avocado

  • tahini and arugula

  • smoked salmon and poached egg

  • avocado, sausage, roasted red peppers, bacon, chili flakes

  • smashed avocado with cherry tomatoes and dukkha

  • grilled cheese and tomato load of roasted veggies – zucchini, eggplant, and capsicum – topped with olives

  • bananas and almond butter  

  • almond butter, chopped dates, and coconut manna

  • coconut cream and strawberries

  • whipped feta with strawberries and sliced almonds

 

Hi, I’m Shannon Labrador!

I’m a nutrition and health coach, and I love helping other busy ambitious entrepreneurs who are dealing with perimenopausal symptoms like weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, acne, and fatigue learn to take back control of their health, lose the weight, and feel great about their body.

Lose weight and be the energetic CEO that you want to be so that you can make an impact!

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