Is your Negative Nelly controlling your life? It’s time to control Nelly!




“You’re no good at that job, move on!”

“You’ve put on a few pounds lately, buddy.”

“You’re going to crash and burn on that presentation, man.”

Who said that?

If that was a friend of mine, I’d kick them right to the curb. I don’t need negativity like that!

But, wait, it wasn’t a friend. It wasn’t even a person. It was my inner critic – I call it Negative Nelly. It’s that defeatist inner voice that’s overflowing with put-downs.

Thinking about it now, I don’t accept that kind of negativity from anyone, so why should I accept it from myself?

Well, I don’t anymore!

Introducing Your Inner Critic

It’s surprising just how much negative self-talk we let ourselves get away with. For some, it happens so often that it becomes background noise.

But, it’s this kind of criticism that can be more damaging than any other kind.

After all, your thoughts significantly influence how you behave and feel, which means negative self-talk can become incredibly self-destructive.

Constantly telling yourself – and believing – that you’re not as good as others, reduces your feelings of self-worth and means you’re never going to face those fears.

Every one of us possesses an inner critic.

Ever found yourself thinking you’re stupid, ugly, overweight, different? That’s your critical inner voice speaking up.

It’s time to silence that critic. This works for me..

Taming the Critic Within

The goal is to tame your inner critic. Your first step is to remember that Negative Nelly is in no way a personification of that little devil on your shoulder. Rather, your inner critic is here to help and protect you. But, you need to both be on the same page for a cohesive relationship to exist that serves your best and highest interests.
  1. Take a Deep Breath
Breathing is incredibly powerful when you want to break the inner critic’s endless loop of criticism. When you concentrate on your breathing, you draw attention away from the negative mental chatter and towards the rhythm of your breathing. As you exhale, say something kind, like “I am safe,” “I am worthy” and feel the compassion flow through your being.
  1. Listen and Then Let Go
Listening to those negative thoughts may seem counter-intuitive, but you can’t control your inner critic until you are actually aware of it.

Simply listen as objectively as you can to the negativity. Often, those thoughts come from unmerited insecurities. So, take the time to really listen to what you’re telling yourself. You may just discover how silly those criticisms are.

By actively listening to the negative talk, you’ll realize how undeserved those criticisms are, and as you exhale and say something kind to yourself, you can effortlessly let go of the pessimism.
  1. Give thanks
Try this: thank your inner critic for its desire to help. After all, Nelly’s only sharing an opinion. Then, consciously interrupt that thought process and put everything you have towards finding a solution that will help you move forward for the better.

Working with your inner critic can help you get a more desirable outcome. Just make sure your Negative Nelly isn’t so stubborn that it doesn’t give you any leeway.

What I do is this: I listen to what my inner critic’s saying. I thank it for its opinion, and then I stamp my foot and say “hey, I’m in control here! Not you!” I exhale, I say something positive, and I move on.
  1. Balance Your Acceptance with Self-Improvement
I’ve realized that there’s a big difference between telling myself I’m good enough and reminding myself that there’s always room for improvement.

It’s taken time, but I’ve put proactive effort into accepting my flaws for what they are and working on issues I want to address. Believe it or not, it works!

For example, if I’m a little worried about something, I accept that I am anxious. Then, I make the decisions to become more comfortable with the situation. By accepting this weakness for what it is, I acknowledge the flaw and then get to work on improving the outcome.

Turn Your Inner Critic into an Excuse to Grow

I’ve saved the best bit for last.

Turn Nelly’s words into calls to action to motivate you towards the things you want to achieve or would like to be. Rather than letting your inner critic come from a place of insecurity and vulnerability, I let it come from a place of empowerment.

I no longer wilt under the pressure of my inner critic’s words. Rather, I turn it into a challenge to help me forge ahead in a much better way.

Now, my inner critic is the ultimate challenge. I strive to prove it wrong, and today, I am far more capable than I could ever imagine.


“A negative mind will never give you a positive life. ” -unknown


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