Like it or not, we all have a little voice in our heads.
Most of the time, we don’t pay any attention to it. We go about our day to day lives, oblivious to the fact that there’s an inner chatterbox going on inside our heads.
This happens all day, every day. When you start to pay attention, you realize that this voice is always with you, silently narrating your daily life, creating opinions, beliefs, and assumptions about what’s going on in the world around you.
Sometimes, that little voice helps us, but – more often than not – it’s actually doing us a huge disservice.
It may not feel like it, but you can learn to take control of that inner voice, and turn your inner critic into an inner coach.
Related Post: How to Deal with Your Inner Critic.
Step 1: Step Back and Quiet Your Mind
The first step to silencing your inner critic is to practice stepping back and quieting the mind.
Meditation is one of the best tools to do this, but it is not the only tool. Any exercise that helps you “get out of your own head” will work, because the goal here is simply to break the identification you have with your thoughts.
It’s important to understand that “quieting your mind” is not actually about “not thinking.”
Instead, it’s about learning to shift your focus away from your incessant thoughts, and on to the peaceful, inner energy we all have within us.
The more you can shift your focus to this inner joy, the quieter your mind will feel. For most people, this feels like:
- Satisfaction, or
But, there is no one “right way” to connect with this energy, and the experience is a little different for everyone.
The quieter your mind is, the easier it becomes to move on to step 2.
Step 2: Become Aware of Your Inner Voice
From a place of stillness, you can then begin to observe your thoughts more clearly.
For most people, this can seem a little counterintuitive because – as they actually quiet their minds – they begin to realize just how many thoughts they are thinking.
When this happens, don’t get discouraged. It’s important to understand that these thoughts have always been running through your mind. It is just that now you are more acutely aware of them.
At this stage, you simply want to strengthen that awareness. I encourage you to treat it like a game, and play with trying to notice as many thoughts as you can.
Want to go deeper? Read this post on How to Let Go of Everything in a Single Breath.
As you notice your thoughts, you can also begin to pay attention to the quality of those thoughts.
Are they positive or negative?
How do they feel?
This will form the basis for the final step.
Step 3: Choose Better-Feeling Thoughts.
Transforming your inner critic to an inner coach is all about training that annoying little voice in your head to think the way you want it to.
We often don’t realize it, but most of our thoughts form repeated patterns. What we think – most of the day – boils down to habits we have created for ourselves.
It is a habit to shout out a loud curse when you get frustrated, and it is a habit to beat yourself up when things don’t go your way.
Even though these habits can be very, very strong (they often form the basis for our deepest beliefs about the world and our role within it), thoughts can be trained.
This is thanks to a concept known as neuroplasticity: the ability of the brain to literally rewire itself.
This means that if you want to train yourself to think better feeling thoughts, you first have to catch the negative thought – in action – and then deliberately replace it with a thought that you’d prefer to think. This process is called autosuggestion.
In principle, this process is very, very simple.
But simple doesn’t always mean easy.
That’s why, here at The Joy Within, we’ve developed a clear system you can use to quiet your mind and improve your thoughts.
When you follow this process, it will not take long before you start to realize just how powerful your mind really is, and you’ll start to feel calm, confident, and happy…literally every single day.