Depression and Overcoming Your Inner Critic
Everybody has it. Though you may not notice it all the time, it is there, working. It changes the way you see the world, the people you come in contact with and every aspect of yourself. It is a powerful and potentially dangerous force in your life. It is your inner critic.
If real life were a cartoon, your inner critic would be a little man standing on your shoulder, probably wearing a red suit and little horns on his head. Everything he whispers in your ear is negative. If you are in a good mood, he brings you down. If you are feeling low, he makes you lower.
Unfortunately, this is not a cartoon. This is real life and your inner critic is invisible. He lives deep in your unconscious mind and filters all of the stimuli you come across and all of your experiences. He finds ways to make everything you see and do more negative, and drains the optimism from your life.
Taking power and control back from your inner critic is a complex, challenging and time-consuming task, but one that is worth undertaking. If you can understand your critic, trace his stem to the roots, pull them out and replace him with someone more desirable, your life will be much happier and satisfying. Here’s how:
In clinical terms, your inner critic is a core belief. A core belief manages your perceptions of your life, and in a world where perceptions are reality, core beliefs carry a lot of weight. Core beliefs are at the center of you and begin to develop from birth. Every experience you have, everything you have learned, everything you have seen factors into your core beliefs.
Everyone has core beliefs. High functioning, happy people will have core beliefs that are more positive and hopeful. People that are depressed or mentally unhealthy tend to have core beliefs that are negative and inspire hopelessness. Core beliefs are simple, discreet statements with a lot of emotional attachment to them. Examples of positive core beliefs include:
- The world is a good, positive place.
- People are generally friendly and helpful.
- I am a good person.
- My husband loves me.
- I am worthwhile.