We all have it, and yet no one really talks about it.
That voice in your head that is constantly judging you.
Constantly telling you, you aren’t good enough, questioning how you are spending your time, judging your looks, etc.
The one that gets particularly loud at midnight as you are trying to go to bed.
We’ve all been there, right?
Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.
It almost feels universal.
But what is it, and what can you do to face it?
The inner judge is our internal critic.
It’s a mix of the voices we’ve heard throughout our lives – parents, teachers, friends, and, yep, even social media.
It’s like a mash-up of all the expectations and criticisms we’ve absorbed, and now it lives rent-free in our heads.
Now, some inner constructive criticism is good and even crucial for personal growth.
However, it is really hard to draw the line between inner constructive feedback and persistent self-criticism.
To the point where it can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses.
The first step in dealing with your inner judge is to recognize it.
When that voice is speaking, is it really you, or echoes of old criticism?
This first step might sound silly, but it was a tremendous help for me when treating my own anxiety.
Labeling, although obvious, is not necessarily intuitive, and by doing so, you will be able to compartmentalize it and separate it from yourself as a person.
Once you understand that you and your inner judge aren’t the same person, you can begin to challenge it.
Ask yourself if you would say something like this to a friend.
That’s usually the trick for me because no one wants to be mean to others.
But we don’t always apply that restraint when the Judge is in action.
The key is kindness. Be kind to yourself, like you would to a close friend.
It’s okay to make mistakes; that’s the path of learning and growth.
And remember, you don’t have to do this alone.
Talking to a friend, a family member, or even a professional therapist, are all great ways to identify that judge and seek the kindness to shut him up.
This is a constant battle I’ve faced since I was a little kid.
But it took many years of suffering through my anxiety until I finally recognized my inner judge and started to actively perform self-compassion.
It didn’t fix my problem right away; it’ll take time to get used to it.
Your inner judge never really goes away; he can get louder or quieter, but he will be there inevitably.
My objective with this small blog post is to point out that it exists and that it can be defeated.
It took me years to recognize him, so hopefully, it helps you moving forward.
Recognizing and understanding this voice is a huge first step.
Once you do that, try to be a little kinder to yourself.
That’ll lower the volume of your inner judge.
And if you can’t, try to seek help; there is nothing wrong with that.
Go easy on yourself, okay?
We are all doing our best 🙂