10 Inner Critic-Busting Comebacks for When Those Voices Get Loud
If you’re aware of and challenged by your inner critic voice (or multiple voices, if you’re like me) then I know you need some badass comebacks for when you’re done letting that voice paralyze your dreams and action-taking. I’ve done some work on this and am about to give you ten great comebacks that’ll shut down that voice and have you feeling worthy, brave and confident about sharing your gifts with the world.
“You’re not good enough,” I hear. “You don’t have anything they want to hear.” “Nobody’s going to want to read this,” the nasty voice continues. Sound familiar? Damn that voice. Seriously, I’m sick of it. Sick of the noise in my own badass head trying to sabotage the good I’ve come to this world to deliver. I’m tired of being my own reason for not shining. I’m ready to master this practice of befriending and detaching from these voices so I can get on with expressing the words that’ll heal myself and the world.
This’s an especially difficult challenge for those of us who’ve decided to embark on the entrepreneurial journey and be responsible and accountable for our own living and happiness. We automatically take on the task of dealing with the inner critic, whether we knew that was part of the job description or not.
For the people who had no idea that voice could be so cruel, unrelenting and paralyzing, I hear you. But it’s going to be so worth the healing work you’ll need to do when you get to a point of hearing those shameful and damaging messages and can say something like, “Hey, I hear you. Thanks for the concern, but I got this,” and quickly spin around and walk in a better, more purposeful direction, headed straight for what you desire for your life.
This action; hearing the voice, recognizing it as destructive, and then talking to it with authority over who you are and what you want — is the key to befriending, detaching from and mastering your inner critic. The awareness comes first. Then the witty comebacks. Here are ten ways to respond to your inner critic when she’s being a pain in the ass. Feel free to tweak as necessary to come up with the versions that turn you on the most.
- You’re not good (smart, experienced, etc…) enough to do this.
Here’s what you can say to this one: “Thanks for your concern, but I got this. I was born, so I’m worthy. I’m more than good enough and there’s someone out there who needs my message.”
2. This has been done before.
To this one say, “But not by me!” And just walk away. Thing is, everything has been done before. We’re all just regurgitating. When you put your spin on something, it makes it yours, your own unique expression of the message. Only you can tell your story and the world needs you to be brave.
3. What if someone gets offended by this? (Another version: They are going to think _____, or What will ______ think? )
If you’re out loud in the world, someone’s going to eventually get offended by you, so just expect it. Here’s what you say to this one: “What other people think of me is none of my business. It’s not my job to be responsible for everyone else’s feelings. Nothing is personal.” Detachment is so key to all of these voices!
4. You’re going to lose your friends (or family) if you do/say/write this.
This one might come up if you’ve been used to following everyone else’s opinions and rules for your life. So first, know this’s how it’s been and choose a healthier way to be. Say to this voice, “The people in your life who matter will stick around and love you, especially when you’re being the real you. The people who don’t, will not. And that’s okay.” And I’m telling you from experience that for the one person you repel with your authentic self, ten more will flock to your amazingness. Don’t worry about people dropping like flies; it just means you’re finally stepping into the real you.
5. You don’t have enough experience to offer that.
No matter what you’ve been through, you have an experience of overcoming that thing that the person who hasn’t been through it yet doesn’t. Whatever stage of learning you’re in, you’re a step ahead of someone else who needs to learn it. Say to this voice, “Thanks but I got this. I don’t need to take one more class, or get one more degree, to offer value to someone in need.”
And then practice believing this, because it’s true.
6. You’re not ready yet.
This one is so paralyzing. You’re never going to be perfectly ready. You need to get over this and jump. Here’s what you do for this voice; don’t say anything. You ignore it and do the thing anyway, and then learn from what goes down, adjust, and do it again.
7. You’re going to fail.
“So fucking what?” That’s what you say to that one. Because in my world, failures and mistakes are stepping stones. Reframe failure today and you’ll have one of the most important inner critic busting tools there is. Keep stepping. You need failure and lots of it.
8. You’re going to make a mistake.
See number 7.
9. What if I get rejected or ignored?
Oh this one is so tough. We get into the black hole of loneliness and feel we’ll never climb out. What if nobody clicks, likes, comments, signs up, joins? What if this is just terrible? In fact in my book pitching endeavors, I had to get really good at not caring about no response. What did I say to that voice? “Next!” I just moved on. Seriously. So give that voice another “So what?” and get on with your badass self. Just move on to the next thing. Don’t add any meaning to the silence. It’s that extra meaning you’re giving everything that’s paralyzing you.
10. Nobody loves you.
I had to end with one of the harshest ones, because when your inner critic goes for the jugular, it’s usually about feeling alone, unwanted, unworthy and hopeless. I’m not sure why we have to be so hard on ourselves like this. What do I say to myself when this happens? Sometimes I have to pull out the big guns and make a phone call. I call my BFF, who for sure loves me, and I ask her to remind me who I am and why I’m doing all this. She never disappoints. You might consider making a list of “Big Guns” for yourself and keeping it handy for when the voices seem to have you stuck in the bottom of the pit. The guns I use include breath work, exercise, journaling, dancing, singing, music and the “Call a friend,” option. Sometimes we have to move the energy of the inner critic out, literally, and choose to focus on something better, or more healthy.
11. And lastly, a bonus I got from writing guru Elizabeth Gilbert — “Your fear is boring.” Try that one when your stupid little voices tell you it’s too hard, or too much, or you’re too afraid to share. Who are you not to share your amazing voice with the world?!
Everyone deals with the inner critic. The trick is the awareness with which you come at it. When you’re recognizing the voice as outside of yourself and based on old, unhelpful, conditioned tapes you have going in your head, you can take a step back, observe it all, and make a choice of what to do/think/say. I hope the comebacks above help you with how to talk to that voice, and more importantly, how to move on to something that serves the life you crave!
Laura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions and a powerhouse who writes to Feng Shui her soul. She’s the author of Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey, her sixth book to help inspire your fiercely alive whole self. Join her and write words that build your business and heal the world. The Write Habit online writing club is now open at www.BraveHealer.com