How many of us have trouble silencing the inner critic? 

“My story stinks.” As another author spoke about her stories, the thought rolled around in my head. Suddenly, all I could see was how bad my current story was. I wasn’t necessarily comparing my story’s qualities with hers, but I was. A little. 

If I’m honest, I’ve listened to my inner critic for far too many years of my life. I’ve let those negative messages boss me around and define me. Those internal criticisms have sometimes stopped me from trying new things, going on adventures, and having the confidence to reach out to new people.

When all we can see is the negative side of ourselves or our endeavors, we’re viewing things through a skewed filter. Many things can skew our filters, including our upbringing, a lack of understanding of our intrinsic value, and loud worldly messages that infiltrate our inner belief system.

What does God say about us?

Understanding how God views us can enable us to silence the inner critic more easily.

Here are some truths

  • God loves us completely, passionately, and perfectly. Period. This will never change.
  • He tells us to think about what is true, right, honorable, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and praiseworthy (see Philippians 4;8). When the inner critic gains the upper hand in our thoughts, we’re not thinking on these things. The enemy gains the upper hand. 
  • God has equipped us to do what He called us to. Since this is the case, we can fulfill our calling with confidence. The results are not up to us; they’re up to Him. (See Ephesians 2:10)

These eternal truths give us the mindset tools for silencing the inner critic. We must remind ourselves of them when that critical voice grows loud.

Why is silencing the inner critic so important?

At times, that inner critic helps us when we’ve gone in a wrong direction. It can turn us onto a healthier path. But when we give it too much authority in our lives, the inner critic demeans us and undermines our confidence. 

Whether this is in the writing world or in pursuing some other calling, in parenting or lawyering or sales clerking or whatever we’re doing, the inner critic must be silenced. When it’s not, that inner voice becomes more strident and persuasive, almost like it’s speaking truth. And if we don’t quiet our inner critic, we end up demeaned and missing out on opportunities God may have for us.

According to Psychology Today, the paradox of an inner critic is sometimes helpful. Still, at other times, it’s harmful because, ultimately, it’s trying to “protect us from the shame of failure.” 

This makes me wonder, if I’m ashamed of failing, am I trusting myself or trusting God? When we’re walking in the things God has given us to do, we can rest in the fact that He is with us. He’s given us a role, but He also has a role. When we worry about failing, are we trying to control how God completes His role?

Tips for silencing the inner critic

First, we need to remember our value in God’s eyes. Even when we mess up or (gasp) fail at something He’s given us to do, our Father still loves us the same. When we remember that God walks with us through each challenge, each uncertainty, and each decision, the pressure to be perfect or perform “just so” lifts. 

Other things we can do to silence those internal voices

  • Become aware of when that inner critic starts speaking.
  • Practice being kind to ourselves
  • Shift our perspective. At times, we will mess up. Our best effort at the moment isn’t enough. We’ll say or do the wrong thing. Remember, perfection isn’t the standard (okay, maybe it is if you’re a neurosurgeon in the middle of a delicate surgery, but you get my point).

The question is, when we mess up, where will we go in our thoughts? Will we allow the inner critic to beat us up? Or will we look for what we can learn to handle things better next time? 

We need to recognize when that critical voice speaks out of turn. We may not be able to silence that inner critic, but we can change the direction of our thoughts. 

  • Take time to evaluate and decide how we’ll handle the situation differently next time.
  • Ask God to show us His perspective
  • Speak to ourselves the way God speaks to us. He never heaps criticism on us. He may correct us. This is good. But let’s not be harder on ourselves than God is. 

Silencing the inner critic will help us grow in confidence to fulfill God’s calling. 

Silencing the inner critic calm bird
6 Effective Ways for Silencing the Inner Critic 3

Conclusion

As for that morning when I found myself battling the inner critic, I expanded my gaze outward. The other writer and I are at different places in our writing journey. God has given each of us different voices and different life themes. He gave me my story and will use it in ways He pleases. 

My story didn’t stink. It was just different. As I considered it, I saw a couple of holes I could work to fill in that would strengthen my work.

God never expects perfection from us. He wants a heart that desires to honor Him in our words, actions, and choices. The inner critic’s voice will quiet down when this is our focus. 

What about you? What helps you in silencing the inner critic? What Bible verses or passages help you remember your value?

Next week, we’ll link up at Donna’s at Serenity and Suffering. Be sure to bookmark this so you can find it easily. 😊

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Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

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