The Inner Critic

Is your Inner Critic sabotaging your best efforts at success?

If you are like most people, you spend an incredible amount of time berating and criticizing yourself on a daily basis.

Even worse, much of this behavior is unconscious. It’s important to remember that our negative self-talk does affect our level of success in life.

Learning to change your internal language patterns is key to being able to move successfully toward your goals.

Negative self-talk is the work of the Inner Critic, also called the internal judge.

It is the ever-present internal voice that judges everything you do against a standard that is not your own, but instead represents the standards of parents, teachers, and the society in which we grew up.

This internal judge evolved during childhood, out of a need to keep you safe, to protect you from shame, pain, and embarrassment.

Although it is often the source of self-sabotage, it’s original function was to help you succeed. It’s job was to make you “acceptable” to others, to keep you from making mistakes that might cause others to reject, hurt, or shame you. In this way, it acts as an “internal parent.”

And out of the desire to belong and be loved, we learned to listen to the voice and respond to its criticism by attempting to alter our behavior, just as we did in response to our real parents.

Although this mechanism was useful to us as children, it is largely a negative force once we reach a certain level of maturity. Unfortunately, by the time we reach adulthood, we have become accustomed to listening to the inner voice, and often let it continue to criticize our every move.

Although we have become capable of making our own decisions and logically assessing the benefits and consequences of our behavior, our internal judge does not stop badgering us. In fact, it now criticizes everything we do, and often contradicts itself with a non-stop barrage of negative feedback

It’s important to realize that we can never please our internal critic - its function is not to distinguish between good and bad choices, but simply to call everything we do into question in order to protect the vulnerable Inner Child.

This worked well for us when we were children, and had a limited understanding of the world, but as adults we can learn to substitute our own judgment for that of the Inner Critic by engaging in positive change techniques designed to dismantle fear and anxiety, and unearth the core issues of the Inner Child.

For more personal development articles
and information about The Inner Critic (back to the top),


Working With The Inner Critic


The Language of Success

Holistic Healing Tools

Positive Change Tools for Success