Having internal chatter is a normal human feature – it is how we process the world. However, when that chatter becomes more negative, it can skew our view of ourselves and can affect our quality of life.
Do you ever wonder:
Why do I beat myself up?
Despite my achievements, why am I so down on myself?
How can I lift myself up?
Where do my negative beliefs come from?
Why would anyone want to work with me?
How many things I wanted to do have I not done in my life?
When is there too much shame talk in my head?
Negativity is always difficult to experience and witness. On some level, it helps us strive to do the best we can, but high-performing professionals will often admit that they have a strong inner voice that berates and shames them, leaving them exhausted as they constantly strive for perfection.
In the niche world of Personal Injury work, we often find ourselves needing to justify our decisions and actions. If we have a critical inner voice, we are likely to feel a lot more pressure in our jobs and feel like any input we provide is “not good enough”.
At PsychWorks Associates, we want to share our psychological understanding of a positive mindset to help you be more aware of what an inner critical voice is, why it develops, and at what point is it likely to be a problem that needs addressing.
But, why bother trying to calm the inner negative chat?
First, here’s some science about why trying to tame your inner critic is worthwhile:
We are born into a life that unfortunately cannot always balance exposure of negative experiences with positive ones.
The majority of people will therefore harbour more negative or critical thoughts, feelings, assumptions and beliefs about the world and therefore themselves. These become internal narrators or inner critics.
This critic affects one’s sense of identity, self-esteem and self-value.
For some people, they develop a drive to overcome their low sense of self by striving for impossible perfection or perhaps avoiding/ procrastinating leaving them unfulfilled in life and possibly dibilitated.
Inner critical voices thrive on reflections of shame, self-doubt, biased self-perception and deficiency.
Those who are unable to tame their inner critic can experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
OK, but how do you know if you or your colleagues need some help with managing their mindset?
Often feeling like there is nothing positive to say
Always focused on what should’ve/didn’t happen
Had an upbringing with lots of criticism and little nurture.
Focuses on what’s lacking, scarce or not enough
Thinking can be black or white, as opposed to grey/complex
Cannot recongise let alone celebrate successes or wins
Often the voice is of ‘reason’ and not of ‘compassion’
Motivated to improve by guilt, shame and fear-based beliefs
Feelings of inadequacy, not being good enough, worthlessness
Focused on the problem, sometimes to the point of paralysis