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Challenge That Critic

If your internal critic is constantly being triggered, nagging you and won’t leave you alone, stop and consider what it is saying.

Remember, these messages are coming from your past and are demeaning and negative. They are messages you heard as a child that label you and remind you of all your failures.

They include such things as: why do you always do such stupid things, won’t you ever learn, what’s wrong with you, why can’t you be like your sister/brother, you’ll never amount to anything. They include bully and peer comments such as ugly, fatty, teacher’s pet, stupid, etc.

So if your internal critic is drowning out any positive thinking it is time to take some drastic measures.

1.   Give your internal critic a name.

2.   Tell it you have heard his/her message many times and you do not need to keep hearing the same thing over and over again.

3.   Tell it to sit down and be quiet. Be assertive.

4.   The messages from your past are taped – the critic is the voice. Visualize holding a remote control with a huge stop and play button. Whenever the play button has been triggered, visually see yourself pushing STOP.

5.   The taped messages and critic have been around for a long time. You may have to be very forceful. If you are alone, say out loud, STOP. I do not need to hear your negativity. Or say STOP forcefully in your mind.

Now replace with positive affirmations:

• I am not my past – I am me in the present

• I am becoming more competent every day

• I accept myself unconditionally – both my strengths and my weaknesses

• I evaluate and make appropriate decisions

• I look for solutions to my problems

• I am pro-active and my efforts make a difference

• I strive for balance and harmony in my life

Affirmations are a positive statement of something you are affirming in yourself. When we replace negative statements with positive affirmations we allow ourselves to learn from our mistakes.

We are not perfect. We can affirm our ability to make new choices that not only affirm ourselves but others as well. We can learn from our experiences to become more of who we are.

©2012 Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC

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