representing a harsh inner critic, this image is of a man sitting at a table with his hands in his head while 2 people in the foreground look at him with disapproval

Everything you need to know about a harsh inner critic, and how to stop it 

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Last Updated on February 24, 2023 by the thought method co.

  • A harsh inner critic is a bully in your brain 
  • It’s an inner voice gone awry 
  • It comes from your environment 
  • You can remove it by asking its purpose 

When you internally bully yourself 

A harsh inner critic is a bully with mean messages like: “you’re fat” or “you’re stupid.”

It’s an inner voice that criticizes you with messages like: “what if you fail” and “no one is going to like you.”

Inner voice, inner critic 

Your inner voice is powerful. And it is meant to be your advocate. 

The more you verbally communicate, the more likely you will have a talkative inner voice. So some inner voices are stronger than others. 

Your inner voice helps you organize your thoughts. It is integrated with your belief system. When your belief system has negative or fearful core beliefs, then your inner voice becomes a critic. 

Even people with positive inner voices can have an inner critic from time-to-time. If a lot of your core beliefs are negative, you will have a more powerful inner critic.

Where the critic comes from

Your environment programmed you. This includes cultural ideals and people who influence us like our parents, friends, people media, sometimes even strangers. 

A harsh inner voice relays negative messages we’ve picked up about ourselves from the environment. It can imitate a parent who would criticize themselves. So if your parent would tell themselves they were ugly while looking in the mirror, you might do the same. 

It could repeat criticisms people have previously directed towards you. So if a miserable adult told you to give up on your dreams and that life has no meaning, you might give that misery company by thinking the same thing yourself. 

How to stop a harsh inner critic 

Ideally, you would figure out the core beliefs driving the bully and restructure the beliefs in a more positive light. Reworking core beliefs takes time though. And you want your harsh inner critic to stop now. 

Do that by asking it its purpose. More about that here

Photo by Yan Krukau

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