Goodbye Inner Critic – Hello Love

Choose Love

Choose Love

Are YOU ready for love?  How strong and overpowering is YOUR inner critic?

My beautiful, sensitive, intelligent and active friend is on the verge of losing her job.  So, in her most sincere and honest way she tells me about herself:  “I am stupid.  I feel so dumb.  I am a fake.  I don’t deserve to be with anybody.  I don’t deserve love.”

My beautiful, creative, observant and powerful client gave up a good paying job for an unpaid internship and had a week of several things not going her way.  So, in a dejected, anxious and depressed state of mind she tells me about herself: “I am unlovable.  I don’t deserve to be loved. Everybody leaves – and they should.”

My beautiful, business savvy, creative, and brilliantly entrepreneurial friend  is struggling to understand the dynamics of a current relationship.  So, she tells me about her relationships:  “All of my relationships have been dysfunctional.  I can’t have a “normal” relationship.  I’m not normal.”

Each of these people is suffering from a very common disease, one that has reached epidemic proportions.  I call it “Inner Critic-itis,” inflammation and exaggeration of the inner critic in your mind.  Instead of citing the pros and cons, the good and bad, and a realistic view of current life frustrations and relationship difficulties, all of the people cited above are allowing their inner critics to run rampant in their brains.

Your inner critic has only one goal – to stop you from moving out of your own homeostasis or comfort zone.  By filling your mind with fear and judgement and everything that is wrong and that can go wrong, your thinking becomes paralyzed with feedback loops of negative thoughts.  To paraphrase what the brilliant scientist Einstein said:  “You cannot solve a problem from within the problem.”  When your mind is caught in a negative feedback loop, you are temporarily unable to see any way out of the situation.  Your inner critic has gained control and will fight hard not to let go.

When your inner critic has taken over, that is the time to ask yourself:  “What would love do now?”  What would love do, not so much for others, but for your own self?

Ask that question and then immediately ask another question:  “Is it true?  Is my inner critic telling me the truth?

If your inner critic has taken over and you can’t decipher what is true, then reach out to someone – a friend who knows you, a relative who loves you, a therapist or coach who will support you.  Allow an “Outer Support” to override our inner critic.

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Here’s to living your life in love

Please take a moment to share how you have overcome your inner critic or if you could use some help right now.

Here’s to living your life in love


Dr. Erica

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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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35 thoughts on “Goodbye Inner Critic – Hello Love

  1. Oh, it’s SO important to improve our negative self talk. Most times, our inner critic is nastier than anything we’d ever dream of saying to someone else. I’ve worked a lot on mine and I help others improve theirs. It’s part of loving yourself.

    • Leanne,

      I have discovered that when someone is judgmental and critical of others they are often even more self-critical. The more we can accept our self with love and compassion, the more easily we can accept and love and appreciate others.

      Dr. Erica

  2. Hi Erica,

    My inner critical b—- is ruthless. She is always telling me what to do, how to act, judging me, illuminating my flaws and she is always there. I am learning how to tame her, by getting to know her. I personified her to make it easier to separate her from who I am because her ideas are not me. I have had clients personify there inner critic also. I suggest that they give her a name and describe her–how she looks, how she dresses, hair color, the tone of voice she uses, what her triggers are, etc.

    • Rachel,

      I love your suggestion of giving my inner critic a name and describe how she/or he looks, dresses, hair color, tone of voice. That makes it so clear that this critical voice is not you or who you are but some external or internal voice reverberating in your mind.


      Dr. Erica

  3. Hi Dr. Erica,
    your suggestion to ask ourselves “What would love have me do?’ is a great one.
    The inner critic can be very debilitating.
    Recently I read the book “Self-Therapy for Your Inner Critic: Transforming Self Criticism into Self-Confidence” by Jay Early. In this book the Inner Critic is transformed into a helper.

    Thank you so much for sharing your expertise!
    Love and Light!

    • Yorinda,

      I like the idea of transforming you inner critic into a helper. It does help us to see what is really going on, but the voice can be so strong that we let it take over and we ignore the other supportive thoughts.


      Dr. Erica

  4. Hi Dr. Erica,

    This is indeed a terrible problem. That inner voice that always tells you negative things: You can’t, you won’t, you never … etc. The trick is to transform this inner critic into a friend. Not easy. I think the first move is to switch the focus of attention from what you did wrong or from all your failures to all that you did right, to all your successes no matter how small they were.
    Then, whenever your inner critics tells you that you did it wrong, you must try to find something good to oppose it. Example: Yes, I lost some money with that method but I gained a huge amount of experience that will later transform in money, yes I lost a client but I gained a friend (that may later be a client again).
    The principle at work here is : transform any negative experience into a positive one. Focus on what you gained no matter how small is that gain and be proud and happy that you gained something. This little success will help you grow and silence your inner critic.
    This is the way how I see the process of silencing the inner critic.

    Have a nice day

    • Silviu,

      What a perfect response today. Yesterday I spent 6 hours attempting to videotape myself using a makeshift background and then in my natural background at my apt. However, after all that work the videos looked awful in my Windows Movie Maker. The lighting was not good, the background looked makeshift.

      So, instead of criticizing myself (I did, of course, for a few minutes), I just saw it as a chance to now study and learn what I can do to create good videos. I certainly have a collection of saved webinars and contacts.

      So what a nice surprise to see that your latest blog post is all about videos. How cool is that?

  5. I do have my own inner critic. While listening to it, I’ve trained myself to make it challenge to get past the fear and doubt and unknown, and try it. With things as they have been lately, I’m pretty pleased with the results. 🙂

    • Nile,

      We can also train that inner critic to become an inner supporter, a voice that keeps encouraging us and saying things like “You did great. Just keep going. People are noticing. Your good is coming to you, etc.”


      Dr. Erica

  6. Inner critic, self love, little dragon, nasty thoughts…. Hmmmmm What we do to ourselves!! I must say that I have in some ways tamed my inner critic, but sometimes things do come up that send me for a loop and its like a new game is set up!! I think it is just that inner boise trying to protect me… As you have suggested I ask it “is it true’? It is also helpful to get support from others too! I (we are)am much harder on myself (ourselves) than others are! Great post!

    • Holly,

      When you are hearing that inner critic, it is important to reach out to another person who understands you and can be supportive and kind. Some people respond when you feel most down on yourself by offering advice, telling you what you should be doing or should have already done, adding fire to your already negative state. But a kind word, a gentle tap on your shoulder, a soft reminder to focus on your own strengths and value, can instantly shift you out of that critical state.

      Dr. Erica

  7. Sometimes I feel the issue of love is worth discussing, it is all in the mind, a feeling that was created by you, I just don’t understand why many people do a lots of *funny things in the name of love.

    Nice post Erica, you have a decent blog.

    • Ebenezer,

      You are so right. Many people do strange things in the name of love.
      Love is a natural way of being unless blocked and distorted by
      relationships with others, especially our early caretakers.


      Dr. Erica

  8. Hi Erica, you explain that “Inner critic” so well!
    I listened to mine way too much for years, and I don’t know why I let it take over. My parents were always praising me as a child, and my teachers were supportive also. Sometimes we make so much stuff up that’s not at all true!
    Anyway, for the last couple of years, I’ve been listening to some “brain training” tapes, and they’ve helped my “inner chatter” tremendously, she/he 🙂 likes me soooo much better now!

    • JulieAnne,

      I don’t hear many people say they have tamed their inner critic or that the inner critic likes them better. Most people just want to get rid of that voice, stop on it, push it away. But we can’t totally remove it. What you have done is the most workable solution, to make friends with the inner voice.


      Dr. Erica

  9. Erica, I always feel that your inner critic is just really your mind telling you what you fear you may become and not telling you who you really are. Perhaps it is there to give us the focus to move us away from what we fear we my become., so in that sense it’s a positive.

  10. Oh that darn inner critic! I never knew that term until I joined a DBT group (Diadactial Behavior Therapy). After years of growth, I found that term “inner critic” so now when it pops up, I automatically get a red flag.
    I just acknowledge that thought and send it bye bye!
    Come back to my center and go on with my life.

    It is very important especially in the example you gave above that we have to love ourselves first and understand to block that inner critic before we can attain love.

    Once again, an awesome post!


    • Donna,

      Boy that inner critic can get us, and much worse than anyone outside of us can do. Other people’s words may be the trigger, but if we feel that inner love we can easily brush off the outside world’s input. But when our inner critic takes over, there is no escape.


      Dr. Erica

  11. You have it right. Funny how the very essence of who we are is so often determined by the untrue feedback we create for ourselves.

    As you know Dr. Erica we find so much of the extraordinary in our every day ordinary that we should be celebrating every experience. Thank you for helping to give a name to this all too common natural act.

    You’ve reinforced in me my conviction of why it is so important to immerse ourselves in the language and associations that build on our fundamental core value as children of a loving Heavenly Father. Once we have that foundation we know we are loved and capable of love regardless of life’s foibles.

    Thank you for an excellent post.

    • Jim,

      What a lovely way to phrase the concept of love. “immerse ourselves in the language and associations that build on our fundamental core value as children of a loving Heavenly Father. Once we have that foundation we know we are loved and capable of love regardless of life’s foibles.”

      Many people do not have their powerful understanding so they rest upon the “foibles” of life and the human traits of the people in their lives. We need to stand tall in the understanding that we are loved by a power way beyond our own understanding.


      Dr. Erica

  12. I love what Martha Beck says about this – to visualize this inner critic as an animal – mine is a little dragon that sits on my shoulder and whispers these unlovely thoughts into my ear – by visualizing my dragon it’s much easier for me to remember to say to myself “oh that’s just my little dragon talking” instead of taking these thoughts so personally.

    • Marty,

      My teacher, Ilana Rubenfeld, used to tell us to send our inner critic away on a vacation. I still think of that when my inner voice is tearing me down. But having an animal image can really make it clear to you in the moment.


      Dr. Erica

  13. I loved what Martha Beck said about this – to put a “face” to your inner critic – mine is a very persuasive little dragon – it sits on your shoulder and whispers into your ear all these unlovely things – I’ve found that attributing it to something other than me helps me to remember ..”oh that’s just my little dragon talking”

  14. Hi Erica,

    Thank you for putting your words in a unique way of telling the stories and then inspired others to not be in a situation which you described as inner critic. I must say the way you explained it is amazing 🙂

    You are so right to say good bye to inner critic but to welcome love. Love can be easily given to oneself when a person is brought up in a loving family and it is normal for them to give love and to be loved but can be difficult to others who don’t have the loving heart. In my opinion, the people who has no love inside them often compare themselves to others, jealous of others, have low self esteem, just to name a few.

    However, this is not the end of everything, love can be cultivated. In my opinion, one should start loving oneself by first look into her heart of what one wants and what can make her happy. For instance, if she finds that a vacation is a must to bring peace then she must go for it and the joy and happiness will come to her. I always believe when we have peace in our heart and mind, we can achieve calmness and then we will have clarity in mind.

    Erica, I thank you again for writing this article. It makes me feel I am so fortunate in live in love 🙂 Truly appreciate you for making me appreciate my life more 🙂

    Pearly Quah

    • Pearly,

      How beautiful that you can honestly say you “live in love.” It is important for you to feel the gratitude and to realize that this is not the case for many people, maybe even the majority of people. We have all been given so many mixed messages that many of us feel as if we have to “perform,” “compete” or suppress our true selves to feel loved. Just being me or you is not seen as enough.


      Dr. Erica

  15. Is it true?

    What 3 powerful words Dr. Erica, so powerful I might just have to create a video post addressing our blocks and this solution lol 😉

    Awesome post! Love knows the answer. All self-loathing is absence of love. All inner criticism is absence of love.

    If you see feedback instead of criticism you feel so much better, right?

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Ryan,

      You are so right. If we view someone’s comments as “feedback,” we can easily listen and learn about how we might improve. But as soon as we feel criticized, our defenses come up and we either become competitive and try to prove someone else wrong or we may shrink and feel inadequate – or we may ignore what is said and miss out on some valuable information.

      Dr. Erica

  16. What would love do now? Is a poweful question I ask myslef ( or my cliens) when th einner critic steps in.
    The fear of being rejected, the fear of losing control, the fear of not being enough are some of the core fears we are confronted when we get in our own way.
    Thanks for sharing Dr Erica, this article is timely for me because sometimes I feel I might be ” loving too much” and lose life balance;)

    • Patricia,

      We have to love our own self, no matter what. It can be so much easier to love another person, to forgive them for their shortcomings and failures, but we can be incredibly hard on our own selves. Let the inner critic go on vacation and send yourself love.


      Dr. Erica

  17. OH SO True Dr Erica, having a positive mindset is the only way to say goodbye to that Inner Critic. I have a Girlfriend who has been going through some tough times this year, she is so filled with negativity it is hard for me to even talk with her.

    I am going to send her to read this post tomorrow, this is Good Stuff. Thanks for sharing.. Chery 🙂

    • Chery,

      When we get caught up in listening to our inner critic, someone from outside can help us to instantly shift our thinking. Our brain gets caught in a negative feedback loop and requires something outside to disrupt the loop.


      Dr. Erica

    • Rachel,

      Sometimes we can break that negative feedback loop by ourselves. However, usually we need someone outside of our own self to help us see the situation and emotional responses more clearly. None of us is an island; we need each other.


      Dr. Erica

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