It is actually possible to reprogram your inner critic into your own personal cheering squad. I recently heard an interview of Kathryn Orford, author of the book “Become Your #1 Fan.” She talked about how to stop thinking negative. You know . . . those nagging messages that run through your mind that imply or outright tell you that you are stupid or incompetent, etc.
We need to learn to be our own best cheer leader and supporter. We can do this by creating new positive neural pathways to replace the old negative messages.
Deal With It Immediately
One method Kathryn provided was a 2-step process based on catching the message immediately and dealing with it on the spot with one or more of 4 methods.
Step 1 – Immediately catch it.
Step 2 – Use one or more of these methods to stop or change it on the spot.
1. Change the nasty tone from intensive and critical to something silly such as a Donald Duck voice, or something sultry and sexy, anything that will break the serious tone of the message and make you smile and laugh.
2. Change the volume. Imagine a remote control and turn down the volume or mute it altogether.
3. Drown it out. Tell it to leave, get stern with it. Tell it that it’s not welcome anymore. Follow that with a positive message.
4. Give it a U-turn, a YUI. Add “Yet” to the end; e.g. I can’t do it yet. Add “Until now” at the end; e.g., I haven’t been able to do it up until now. Put it “In the Past” where it belongs; e.g., I couldn’t do it in the past. Quick dragging that ball and chain along with you.
Kathryn also provided a couple of other strategies that she has successfully used with her clients.
Write It Down
Write down every fear, negative box or label that you have been told, learned, or believe. Get them out of your mind and your heart, and down on paper. Then scribble all over it, tear it up and throw it away. Afterwards, go wash your hands and imagine all those negative messages washing away down the drain. This is a great visualization for ridding yourself of those negative thoughts. I have also heard of people writing them down and ceremoniously burning them in a fireplace or bonfire.
Connect With Your Inner Child
The last method she discussed, which I really love, is to take yourself back to before you had that inner critic pulling you down. Reconnect to your inner child that had no issues of worthiness, and just loved life and took it all in. Find a picture of yourself between 6 and 18 months that you really love when you had that light in your eyes, the joy and curiosity. Print it out. Put it as your screen saver, on your phone, on your bathroom mirror, anywhere you will see it daily and be reminded of that place and feeling. Every morning look into that child’s eyes and say “I am here for you and am going to start my day with joy, positive anticipation and curiosity.”
If you would like to find out more about Kathryn Orford and her teachings, you can go to the following links:
If you would like to check out her book, “Become Your #1 Fan,” here is a link to the Kindle version of the book:
Don’t let those negative messages keep you down! Take control of them.
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