What to do when your inner critic is turning you into a bitch

Are you secretly wishing that your best pal’s life wasn’t so damn perfect? Are you feeling guilty that you have a hidden desire to wish ill fate on everyone who’s doing so much better at this thing called life than you are? Are these thoughts leaving you feel like the world’s meanest person? Here’s what to do when your inner critic is turning you into a bitch.

I’m not going to lie to you; I’ve been in something of a tailspin over the last couple of months. I’ve been feeling completely out of sorts. The ego-chatter inside my head has been having a party. It’s like I’m stood in the corner being forced to watch ol’ ego busting out its best moves whilst I sip on a cup of cheap white wine. It has really been going to town. And I’ve felt baaaad. Not, just bad because I’ve been feeling pretty shitty, but bad for the evil thoughts that have been running through my head.

Comparison has been hitting hard. I’ve been looking over the fence from what I seems the burnt-out ruins of my garden to cast my eyes on someone else’s beautifully kept lawn and flawless topiary. And, yes, I’ve willed the shears to slip and chop off a perfectly-manicured leafy peacock tail. I’ve found myself smiling outwardly and congratulating at the successes of those I love, but secretly wishing that they would tone themselves down. I mean, what the actual fuck? When did my self doubt turn me into such a horrible person?

I hate being that kind of person: it just isn’t me. But when you’re in it your inner chitty is stamping its feet so hard to be heard, it’s like Lord of the Dance on your confidence. Not cool, and certainly not fun. So, what to be done when your inner critic is on the run, and making all kinds of crazy towards yourself, and those around you?:

 

Show your ego some compassion

Your inner critic is your ego, and its role is there to keep you safe. It’s just got a really fucked-up way of doing it, and it shouts… loud. It will tell you all the things that are scary in the world, and it will go to town with all the things wrong with you. Like, how everyone is soooo much better / clever / intelligent / talented / prettier than you. It’s a broken record on repeat. But, it’s crying out – it just wants to be heard, it just wants to be understood, it wants to ensure that you don’t do anything crazy… like living your dreams.

Listen to it, and offer it some love. Let your ego that you understand that it has a job to do, and that you understand its desire to keep you safe. Let it know that you honour its role, and you do not take it for granted, but this time around you are choosing the adventure.

  

Hold hands with your inner child

Within all of us there’s an inner child who needs nurturing. Mine is around seven years old, and – like the ego – wants to make sure I’m not going to do anything that means it would feel scared or insecure. Understanding the needs of that inner child, will help you shape the way you can allow them to feel protected, and cared for.

  

Take stock of what’s lacking

The perception that you’re acting like a bitch towards other people means you’re being struck by the steam train of comparison. It’s time for a bit comparative analysis. Does someone else have the ‘perfect relationship’? Check in and see what’s you feel is missing in yours. Is your Instagram feed clogged with dream home interior shots leaving you feeling sick to the stomach with jealousy? Maybe it’s time to make some changes on the home front. Or, if yet another holiday shot of tropical cocktails and bronzed limbs is making you want to chuck yourself out of the office window on a grey drizzly Tuesday, then maybe it’s time to book yourself some time away.

 

Flip reverse it

When I read / watch / scroll / hear about yet another success story of one of my peers, and why they are winning at life in every damn way (again, in my head, not real), I literally lift myself up, and put myself in their shoes. Sometimes you can hear their inner chitty going to town on them. It’s saying ‘Help me, I feel so lost.’ It’s clawing at them and shouting: ‘Maybe if I just talk about all of the good stuff, no one will realise that I’m actually drowning over here. This doesn’t for one minute mean that you are wishing them ill, or they should stop shouting their successes. In fact, they should keep going, keep shouting, keep bringing their A game. We need them. No, it simply offers compassion and empathy for the fact that we are all subject to self doubt, and the need to make ourselves feel better.

 

Be kind with yourself

You may be feeling a total bitch for thinking the things you’ve been thinking (you’re not by the way). At some point, we all feel like the worst people in the world for looking at others and wishing them ill because of the things that we don’t have, or the perception that we can’t get what we want. Understand that you are human, and you are having these feelings, and that’s OK. End of. Show yourself some love by taking care of yourself. Buy yourself some flowers, run a soothing bath, take yourself out for a walk, give yourself the same kindness you would for a friend who’s going through the same thing.

Kate Taylor