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Taming the Inner Critic

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

Perfectionism is a notion where we as individuals set unrealistic expectations for ourselves personally or professionally. It is where we strive to be the best and achieve the best with no room for faults or failure. This can be seen as an unhealthy trait to have. Now, it’s one thing to want to be the best possible version of yourself and be continuously motivated to work hard and be successful. It is another thing to be so overly focused on being perfect that it begins to cause a problem. It is the constant fear of being judged, that we’re not enough or not doing enough and that others disapprove of us. As result, these are the types of things we can notice when perfectionism becomes unhealthy:

1. High anxiety

2. Health issues

3. Sleep disturbances

4. High stress levels

5. Burnout

6. Lack of energy

7. Guilt

8. Difficulty saying “no”

A great concept that applies here is called the “Inner Critic.” The inner critic is basically the voice that we constantly hear that judge us and demeans us. This voice, so to speak, is constantly pointing out what we haven’t done and what we should be doing rather than focusing on what we have accomplished. It’s a voice that can cause people to feel shameful or doubt themselves. There were a few things that can help to overcome the cycle of the failure of failure and perfectionism.

Dethatching yourself from the outcome, outlines the idea that if an outcome doesn’t go the way you hoped, it is not because of you. For example, if you’re planning a surprise party for a friend and that friend is not surprised or just doesn’t have a good time at the party, this does not mean that you failed. The outcome is not something that you did or had any influence over.

Set realistic goals, for yourself and a timeline to complete these goals is the second. It’s great to have huge goals and want to be extremely successful, but everything comes in steps. It’s important to start small and work our way up to the big things.

Limit time on social media, as we live in a society where social media is growing and everchanging. It is full of images and stories of people’s successes and it’s all about how each person can “one up” the next. It is important to remember that social media is a highlight reel and there are several things that happen behind closed doors that no one knows about. Be kind to yourself, don’t compare yourself to others, and focus on your own growth.


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