Turn your inner critic
into an internal coach

by Doris Helge, Ph.D., MCC © 2012

Is your self-talk self-critical? Does your inner critic ever sabotage your success or happiness?


All of us sometimes want to take a jackhammer and blast away at the annoying part of us that jabs us with critical comments like, “You’re not good enough” or “You won’t succeed.” Your desire to kill your critic backfires. It’s like chopping away a concrete foundation under your home or business. Why? Our inner critic is a very robust part of ourselves. Instead of battling it, we need to learn how to use this powerful energy source to our advantage.

What we resist, persists. We created an inner critic during childhood as a key survival tool. The original version of our inner critic helped us survive, avoid adult disapproval and stay out of trouble. The early inner critic protected us from harm when we were too small and powerless to do certain things. Over the years, well-meaning, protective messages became a consistent negative voice that belittled and shamed us. Here’s an example of how the nurturing, protective “Guardian” inner voice we heard as a young child became the dis-empowering inner critic we hear today.

The early voice of your Guardian:

“Don’t even try to climb up and reach the forbidden cookies on the top shelf. You’re not big enough or strong enough. If you push beyond what you’re old enough to do, you’ll fall. You’ll be hurt. You’ll get in trouble. Adults will be upset and angry at you.”

Please note: This was a heart-centered message with the pure intention of protecting you when you were a young, vulnerable child.

Over the years, this nurturing voice became your inner critic. Now, you hear messages like this.
• “You can’t do what you want to do.”
• “Don’t try. You’ll fail.”
• “You’re not good enough.”
• “You don’t deserve to have what you want.”

Because your inner critic developed with noble intentions and has labored non-stop on your behalf . . . day after day, year after year . . . it is an integral part of your personality. Every time you try to banish your inner critic, it ferociously fights for its life. That’s why trying to get rid of your inner critic backfires. Since your inner critic thrives on criticism, when you resist and criticize this part of yourself, it becomes stronger, louder, more resistant and belligerent.


David Guterson, author of the bestselling book that eventually became the box office hit, “Snow Falling on Cedars,” is certain his self-confidence was not gained from external recognition. He credits years of practice in which he constantly critiqued his work. Bill Uhl, an enduro-racer who won five Olympic gold medals in Europe, sums up the value of his internal critic, “If I’m not always evaluating my performance, how will I keep getting better?”

When managed effectively, the barbs of our inner critic prevent complacency and boredom while nudging us to improve our lives. We harness a powerhouse of energy when we face our shadow side. We discover that our doubts, fears and insecurities are tools that can help us become more confident, competent and complete.

Trying to get rid of your inner critic is not the solution.
Keep your critic’s feedback in perspective and
discover how to use this exceptionally
vibrant source of energy.

Are you ready to calm the crippling voice of your inner critic and turn it into a positive force? Take advantage of a proven program tested by hundreds of my coaching clients. You’ll discover the secrets of turning your inner critic into an inner coach in the new ebook, “Conquer Your Inner Critic.” You’ll also gain special value from the illustrations and the workbook that are part of the book. Order your copy by clicking here.

© 2012. Excerpted with permission from the #1 Bestselling book, “Conquer Your Inner Critic” by Doris Helge, Ph.D. You may reprint this article as long as it is in tact and proper attribution is given.

With over 20 years of experience, award-winning, Certified Master Coach Dr. Doris, has a proven track record of helping people like you create a new life story. Enjoy life-changing teleclasses and videos at Sign up to receive the “More Joy for Me Now Newsletter” at

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