Many of us have an inner critic. We can hear it operating in others when people call themselves "an idiot" because they've made a small mistake. This open self-criticism displays a common self-critical perspective where they might see themselves as not being good enough in some way.
Mindfulness and Recognising the Inner Critic
One of the great benefits of mindfulness is the awareness of our inner processes, such as thoughts and emotions that it brings. Practising mindfulness can help us be aware of our inner critic. Because of that awareness, we can choose how to respond. We can then replace this critical voice with a compassionate response. This practice is known as positive self-talk.
Positive self-talk is a key mind-management tool that top coaches often teach. The best response to the critic is one that has stood the test of time over thousands of years. Famously taught by Buddha, this loving-kindness practice may go back centuries before then. This is the excellent compassion practice of the Buddhist tradition. The repetition of the phrase: "May I be well. May I be happy. May I find peace of mind."
Using Self-Compassion to Transform Your Inner Critic
I call this the 'self-compassion practice'. You can use the self-compassion practice to intervene in any unhelpful train of thought simply by repeating it once or twice in your mind. And, if the unhelpful train of thought is persistent, you can repeat it until you get your mind back on your side. Practising self-compassion is one of the most useful extensions of meditation into daily life.
When to use it
The self-compassion practice works well to help neutralise the Inner Critic. You can also use it to neutralise any other unhelpful inner dialogue. Whenever you notice that you're shaming or blaming yourself, you have a powerful alternative.
May you be well.
May you be happy.
My you find peace of mind.