Who are the people in your life that have been the most critical of you? Family, partners, bosses or friends. No matter how hard you tried, it was never good enough. The focus was always on what you did wrong, not what you did right.

Hearing those messages repeatedly has an effect. They begin to seep in and feel true. You try hard to please them and get praise, but it rarely works. Maybe it was your fault? Doubt begins to seep in and you start to wonder if you are really like that. You begin to hear those criticisms in your head when you didn’t meet your own expectations.

When you focus on the negative, you will continue to see what is going wrong. Change is difficult when you are focusing on what you don’t want to do, what is not working for you and what you are not doing well. The shortcomings stand out sharply. Those criticisms that have turned into your inner critic will continue to point out all of your flaws. Progress is difficult when you keep looking behind you. You are going against the flow which hinders progress.

Once you are aware of the inner critic, you will become more aware of the messages that your critical voice is telling you. The messages sound justified. But are they? There is more than one way to look at any situation. Recognize that those messages were someone else’s that you heard frequently. Most likely someone that you really wanted praise from, but never got. If having that critical voice works for you, then keep it for as long as you need to.

There will come a point when the inner critic does not help you anymore. You have become aware of your pattern. Change beings to happen, you have a minor setback and then you stop working toward your goal. How many times has that happened to you?

You can release your inner critic. Once you recognize this choice, you have created an opportunity for change. It might have always been there, but for whatever reasons, you were not able to see it up until now.

This is the next step to taking back control. Choose to release the inner critic. Although it feels that the inner critic is a part of you, it is not. Having awareness of this is the first step toward separating yourself from that critical voice. You can change what you choose to focus on. Release the negative in order to experience the positive. Focus on the goals and what you are doing well to reach your goals.

You can do this. Think about telling your inner critic that he/she is no longer welcome to stay within you. What would you say? Visualize releasing your inner critic. How would you release your critic?

Release your inner critic. Consider telling that critical voice that he/she is no longer welcome. Would you gently let the inner critic know that you no longer want him/her around? Say that you love him/her, but no longer able to remain a part of you? Or are you angry and need to be more forceful? You need to tell the inner critic he/she is being kicked off the committee?

Whatever way works for you is the right way to do this. You can be as gentle or as firm as you need to be. Choose what is right for you. Ways to release your inner critic include having it take a path that leads away from you, returning it to their original home and taking a time out in it’s bedroom, or kicking it off out of your inner self to a place far, far away. Does it feel right to release your inner critic in a gentle way or in a more forceful manner?

If you are not sure, one method is the corporate way of letting someone go. You imagine that you have some body guards with you. Give the inner critic a “pink slip” and tell the inner critic that “You need to clean out your office and be free to go. Put your negative energy into a box to take with you. I wish you well in whatever your future endeavors are.” Then have the body guards escort the inner critic and the box of negativity “out” onto the sidewalk.

Think about how you would like to do this and then make the choice to take action.

If you are not familiar with the Emotional Freedom Technique download the Tapping Into Emotional Freedom at http://www.kolpiacounseling.com/article-eft.html

While tapping the karate chop spot on either hand, repeat these phrases out loud, (or change the words to fit your exact situation).

Set up: Even though I have this inner critic and it always points out my mistakes, I deeply love and accept all parts of myself.
Even though I get down on myself for not doing things perfectly, I choose to realize that I am doing the best I can given the circumstances.
Even though I am hard on myself even when I don’t want to be, I can choose to recognize what I have done well.

Eyebrow: This inner critic.
Side of Eye: This negative voice that is always waiting to put me down.
Under Eye: I easily focus on my faults.
Under Nose: I know what I am doing wrong.
Chin: Being critical is familiar. I have done it for so long.
Collarbone: Being critical is safe. I know what to expect.
Under Arm: I have been critical for long enough.
Head: I will choose to release my inner critic when I am ready to, knowing that I can change.

Eyebrow: I know being critical of myself serves a purpose.
Side of Eye: I have been critical for so long that I don’t even realize I am doing that.
Under Eye: My inner critic keeps me stuck and does not work to help me change.
Under Nose: I am getting ready to release my inner critic because it does not help me at this time in my life.
Chin: I appreciate how my inner critic has protected me for this long.
Collarbone: I now know how I don’t want to be.
Under Arm: My inner critic has tried to help me be the best I can, but it has never felt good doing it this way.
Head: I will release the inner critic when I am ready and choose to focus my thoughts on what I am doing well.

Eyebrow: I choose to focus on my strengths and successes.
Side of Eye: I choose to realize that the inner critic is based on a thought and I have the ability to change my thoughts.
Under Eye: I choose to know that I have had many successes and achievements in my life.
Under Nose: I will release the inner critic when I am ready to and replace it with a voice that is supportive and confident.
Chin: I am capable of doing anything that I set my mind to.
Collarbone: I can look at the positive and the direction that I want to go in. Choosing to look forward.
Under Arm: I have the choice to change and to release what does not work for me anymore.
Head: I will choose to release my inner critic when I am ready to with confidence and ease.

Having a desire to change is necessary for change to happen. If you really want to change, you are likely to be successful with that no matter how you choose to release your inner critic. Using the Emotional Freedom Technique, provides a system shown to have positive results. You are bringing some subconscious thoughts to the conscious level. You are identifying what the thoughts are and how they affect you. You choose when and how to release the inner critic.

Activity: The committee is the negative messages that you tell yourself. Identify one of those messages that you are ready to release. If you are not ready to release the message, then consider what purpose that message serves. Is there a way to reframe the message to one that has the same intention, but coming from a positive place. What would you ideally like to hear instead?

Author's Bio: 

Loren Fogelman is a results based therapist. Her specialty is helping professionals facing addiction to reach peak potential. Free download Tapping Into Emotional Freedom and articles written by Loren Fogelman at kolpiacounseling.com