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Inner Critic Got You Down? 5 Ways to Break Free

Lies, Lies and More Lies

On a game show, where the question is “Name something your inner critic says to you”, the following answers are winners:

  • You’ll never be as good as she is.
  • No one will love someone as fat as you.
  • He’s out of your league—look how amazing he is—you’re just not good enough.
  • You can’t do that—other people do—but not you.
  • You’re a loser.

What is our inner critic? It’s the part of us based in the mind, not the brain, that verbally and emotionally beats us up throughout the day. In fact, abuses us is more like it. I say based in the mind and not the brain because it is important to get a sense of where this entity lives—which is nowhere really. It’s a ghost. It’s airy-fairy. It’s made up.

The mind is nothing more than a collection of thoughts. This collection of thoughts came from training, programming, or brainwashing that started the moment we were born. Other people, the television, and even the government trained you to believe in whatever they told you about yourself and the world—and you believed it all because you didn’t know not to. But this training came from people and a system with a mind that also demeaned and diminished them. They weren’t told the truth about themselves, so you weren’t told the truth about yourself.

The mind, also known as the ego, the false self, and, as I call it, the “Thought Self”, is an imposter, meaning it’s not you. The mind’s beliefs and thoughts are often part of our daily life experience, but they’re not who we are, and as such, don’t really have anything to do with us. The mind is really talking about itself to itself. There’s no you or me in it. The mind certainly pretends to be you and because you don’t remember that it’s not, you believe it’s you, too. The problem with that is, every time you trust in the mind’s ideas and concepts, you become a slave to whatever it believes, thinks and says about you. And you will suffer with this mind—sometimes to unbearable levels. Why? Because it’s not you.

The mind is the entity who constructs never-ending, unattainable rules and conditions, believes things about us that aren’t true and gets its lifeblood from saying anything to make us feel small, weak, unhappy, disappointed and ashamed of being ourselves. But the inner critic isn’t just a critic, it’s also a massive liar.

Master of Negativity

Science has shown that of the 65,000-70,000 thoughts we have a day, 65-70% of those are negative in nature. That’s about 45,000 thoughts a day. This is where our inner critic originates and this drives us to believe we are all not good enough. But this is just programming—programming based on beliefs, not truths. Programming can be undone.

The mind, or Thought Self, continually distorts the truth. This is because it is built on false beliefs, ideas, constructs, and concepts that are nothing more than made-up or false, hence the name, the false self. What’s false can only generate more falseness.

As this entity is not a sentient being, because it didn’t arise authentically through truth and love, it is not creative, resourceful or ingenious. It only follows the program. That means it repeats itself over and over—ad nauseum. When you hear it again and again, you will be bored by it, if you are not also in the mind. As divine opportunity exists everywhere, even in an entity built on lies, it is this very repetition that helps us see it for who it is. Seeing is healing. Healing means we correct the error in our training. More on this in a moment.

We can become aware of this imposter by listening to how it talks to us. For most of us, when the mind talks to us, we end up feeling:

  • Criticized,
  • Questioned,
  • Full of doubt,
  • Guilty,
  • Ashamed,
  • Inadequate,
  • Regretful,
  • Like a failure,
  • Unworthy,
  • Incapable,
  • Unwell,
  • Drained and
  • Fearful.

There are two things to remember here. One, you can quickly identify the imposter by being aware of the constant criticism, self-doubt, beliefs of inadequacy and so on. When you hear the words and feel the feelings, you will know who this is. The truth is, this is how the imposter talks—this is your inner critic—and this is how it makes you feel. Recognize it for what it is. It’s not you and it’s not me. It’s all lies.

A trick of this imposter is to blame others and situations for our unhappiness. But no one and nothing else is blame for the beliefs and thoughts we have that are negative in nature. It is our own mind taking neutral content in the world and twisting it into something negative for the sole purpose of continuing itself. It does not care about you. It’s not programmed that way—it’s not programmed from truth and love. Listen for the repetition. When you hear it, you will know it is the imposter talking. It’s not the real, authentic you. Knowing it is not you brings relief and healing.

The second thing to remember is the false self can only be false. Created outside of truth, it knows nothing of truth, though it hijacks this and distorts it for its own selfish purposes. You could say that when your Thought Self’s lips are moving, it’s lying. This is good news because you can begin practicing not listening to or reacting to what it believes, thinks and says. Once you do this, healing happens automatically. You will realize that you are not the one you have been trained to believe you are— you are so much greater.

You are Greater Than You’ve Been Told

Who are we then if we are not the person we believe we are—if we are not the mind, the imposter or the false self? We are the one who has always been there, underneath the façade of a person named you. This is you as the creator of all you experience, whether that is a life of lies or a life of truth.

You might wonder how it came to be that we were lied to about our true selves to develop the false self. I am not certain how that happened. I don’t know if anyone is. Speculation has been that this programming away from truth has been orchestrated by the soul self—an aspect of the universal creator. Others thought it might be an alien experiment. There have been many other opinions on this situation. However it happened and for whatever reason, this is where we are today. We are in a place to see the truth about our life training, about our inner critic and about who we truly are.

Below are five ways to break free from the inner critic that lives in your mind, that place that can’t be named, touched or located.

  1. Listen.  It is time to listen, or pay attention, to what your mind believes and the thoughts it generates through words, spoken or unspoken. In doing so, you will begin uncovering the patterns of repetitive lies that plague you and make you feel a fraction of who you truly are. You can journal the repetitive themes so you can more easily identify them. No matter how you listen, start today. And don’t feel bad about what you believe, think or hear. This is more mind. You are on a mission to uncover the imposter. Stay focused.
  2. Be Aware. Awareness means you are able to perceive the truth. This is not easy for us sometimes since we have wholly believed in the false for so long. But never fear, the more open you are to being aware of the truth about you, the more you will find it. You can’t hide from who you are, not for long, anyway.
  3. Practice. Practice listening for the false and then practice not reacting to it. The false is anything that undermines you in any way. The more you practice listening for it the more you will hear it. Intention is a powerful tool here. Intention means you are determined to know the truth about you—the powerful, beautiful, loving truth.
  4. Admit the Truth. The mind wants to stay in place. Not because it is conscious or alive, but because that is what it is programmed to do. Each time you hear the mind talking to you, admit the truth to yourself—this is the imposter talking. It is not me, it is a programmed persona I believed was me. I no longer have to react to or follow this persona. Admitting the truth is a way to reconnect to your authentic foundation of pure truth and love. Don’t give up.
  5. Find Peace. Meditation is a powerful tool to help us remember who we truly are. Meditation can be done as a guided mediation through a podcast, an app or through a youtube video. I have personally experienced Dr. David Hamilton’s guided meditations. David is the author of nine successful books and an entertaining, kind lecturer. Find a meditation style you like and do it a little bit each day. This peace is a strong contrast to the chattering mind. In finding peace, we also find truth. Start by meditating just five minutes a day before you go to bed. An easy one to do at that time is to focus on your breath coming in and out of your lungs. It’ll help you fall asleep, too.

The truth is, there is no such thing as not good enough. There is nothing wrong with you or me. We must remember the truth about who we are. There are many ways to do this—find your way, or ways, and make it your intention to stay on course. Each moment we aren’t listening to, reacting to, or feeling bad about the inner critic’s ideas of us, we create a space between this imposter and our authentic selves. This is the light that comes shining through the darkness. The more the light shines, the more you remember who you are.



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