Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Inner Critic

Self-Compassion: The Best Way to Calm Your Inner Critic

Self-Compassion + the Inner Critic

I’m delighted to share a guest post today from Maureen Cooper from The Path to Self-Compassion online course.

Our inner critic can be very effective in making us feel inadequate and worthless. Learning to tame it through self-compassion is the very best thing we can do for ourselves. Here is my own story of how I  experienced this for myself, and used self-compassion to calm my own inner critic.

Some years ago, when I was in my early thirties, I found myself drawn to the baby department of a large London store. For quite some time, I wandered around gazing longingly at the tiny garments and prettily decorated furniture. Gradually I became aware that I was avoiding the other shoppers and trying to hide myself from view. I kept looking around nervously. Slowly it dawned on me that I was afraid of being thrown out, exposed as a fraud, called out for not being a mother—disputed as even being a ‘real’ woman.

This memory still has the power to move me, and causes me to shudder even now. I had been told a few weeks earlier that it was very unlikely that I would be able to have children of my own. An infection in my fallopian tubes had caused them to close and buckle and the likelihood of them ever being healthy again was remote.

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Nurturing Self-Talk: A Kinder Voice Inside Your Head

Purple Roses - Positive Self Talk

Editor’s Note:  I’m delighted to share a guest post today by Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, LPC on a topic that trips up so many of us.


Is this what you call yourself when you stumble or make a mistake?

My niece called herself an idiot last week when she made a small error cooking our brunch. When I commented on calling herself an idiot, she assured me she would never call her children that. I believe her. Ann is a particularly giving woman and very conscientious as a parent. So how come she doesn’t extend that to herself? What gives?

The Inner Critic

As a psychotherapist I get to listen in on that voice chattering away in people’s heads, and although I work with very nice people, how they speak to themselves can make me cringe.

There are different names for the critical voice in our heads; the most common is Inner Critic. Generally this is an aspect of our consciousness that developed when we were very young and internalized rules from our environment. These rules tend to be very black-and-white, as they are to a young mind, and the way of enforcing them is also rather primitive. Mocking, ridiculing, threatening with extreme consequences are actually rather coarse influence skills. It’s like a terrified four-year-old desperately trying to keep you in line, warning you the world will end if you don’t do something just right.

There are books about trying to defend against or slowly dismantle this inner critic. Here I’m going to focus on bringing in a voice that may help neutralize the critic and eventually replace it. Wouldn’t you like a kinder voice inside your head?

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