Five Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic

By David BreslowSeptember 21, 2005, 4:00 pm
Youve heard it. Cmon, be honest, youve heard the rumblings of an inner voice that seems to pop up in your head just at a time you dont need it. Youre standing over your first tee shot with everyone watching. Youre looking at a 3-foot downhill birdie putt. Maybe youre going for a par 5 in two over water. Weve all heard this inner intruder and weve all been influenced by it. What is this invisible voice and where does it come from?
Donald, a 9 handicap called me and told me the most difficult thing he faced was a constant battle with the negative critic inside him on the golf course. Donald is a very successful business person outside the golf course but on it; he has a tendency to apply the work very hard attitude along with the Its never really good enough attitude. Both of these were interfering with his ability to not only relax but diminishing his enjoyment as well. If its never good enough, how can you really enjoy yourself on the golf courseor off it? I asked Donald. I dont enjoy it as much as I could except for some brief moments when something goes really wellbut then the need to make sure it stays that way pops up and the inner battle begins again. Donald replied. The word battle is quite appropriate here. This is exactly what it feels like when we have opposing forces battling for position inside us! Have you had this experience on the golf course? Do you know what its like to face negativity and doubt on one hand while trying to convince yourself that it doesnt exist on the other? Its very distracting and takes a lot of energy and focus away from the game of golf. In addition, if the critic is always telling you its never good enough, how can you enjoy what youre doing? Its almost impossible.
Who is this critic and who invited him or her to the party? Well, lets face it; there is a part of each of us that takes the role of inner critic and it doesnt need an invitation. Its very happy to show up on its own. Its purpose is to literally look for, identify and comment on all the negative things it can find. That wasnt good enough, This wont work, You cant hit that shot, Yes, the ball went where you wanted it to but that swing was lousy, Johns using a 7-iron and youre using a 5-ironyoure kidding me! and on and on the critic goes.
The word critic is defined as: (derived from the ancient Greek word krites meaning a judge) a person who offers a value judgment or an interpretation.
Self-critics can be the harshest of judges because a value judgment turns into a personal attack and when it gets personal; it is difficult to get out of. If youve ever attacked yourself, you know exactly what I mean.
Here are 5 steps you can take to quiet or delete the critic inside you:
1. Its a recording - - The critic inside you is a recording thats been played and replayed over time. Imagine your brain as having VCR capabilities. It has recorded this critic through practice and rehearsal over time. When the play button is hit; the recording turns on! The inner critic is an echo from past critics; you, friends, teachers, parents and so on.
2. Its only 1 part - - The inner critic is only one part of you; its not ALL of you! If its the loudest and most consistent part; thats only because youve paid more attention to it and ignored the other parts. Ignoring the other parts doesnt mean they arent there. Five cloudy days dont mean the sun isnt in the sky anymore does it? No, of course not. In the Wired To Win program we identify the other parts so you can begin recording them more often!
2. Accept It! - - The first rule of the Wired To Win program is: what you resist; will persist. This means that if you fight or resist anything; the thing you fight with gains more power! When youre inner critic shows up, learn to accept it. Besides; when has fighting with it ever gotten you anywhere?
4. Talk Back! - - Who says your inner critic is the definitive expert on anything? Its not! Once you accept that its real and its there; TALK BACK to it. The critic in you only knows one thing; what doesnt work! What about what DOES work? What about what you ARE doing well? What about what you ARE CAPABLE OF? Focus on these and you wont have to battle with your inner critic; instead youve directed your mind toward something more constructive.
5. Its NOT Personal! - - Watch your inner dialogue. Be wary of the words You or I. Those words are very personal. Im no good, You idiot! and comments like this are personal and when it gets personal; it gets deep! Change the words you or I to the words It or That. This now becomes That was a bad shot or It was a bad shot. It and That are not personal.
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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed Wired To Win programs for athletes and business professionals to help them perform at the top of their game!. His unique approach helps people make quantum leap shifts! David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.

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