You are not your inner critic. Observe and process the negative voice you hear.

by | August 25, 2021

You are not your inner critic. Observe and process the negative voice you hear.
One of the most common and painful experiences we have is hearing the voice of an inner critic.

It can range from mildly negative thoughts about yourself to devastating destruction of your character and even of life itself.

It has many different effects on people — from making one stronger and more determined to succeed, to causing depression, to making one feel hurt and unloved in relationships, all the way to pushing one into addiction or even suicide.

If it’s unconscious in someone in a position of power it can cause him to become abusive or even start a war.

Such is the great power of this annoying little voice in our heads.

To transform your critic, you have to become conscious of it as a distinct part of your mind that’s separate from you.

You must summon your strength and courage to dis-identify from your negative thoughts and study them.

To do this, set aside time each day to meditate on your inner process.

Close your eyes and observe your negative thoughts but don’t engage with them.

Don’t judge or try to change them.

Just watch them come and go.

Imagine them like clouds floating across the sky.

As you do this, observe their nature. Listen to the quality of the critic’s voice.

Visualize a character saying these things.

Watch him or her like they’re in a movie.

When you have a good sense of this figure express your disagreements — fight, argue, debate, and wrestle with it (a punching bag is great for this!).

Also, listen to its replies and then talk back to it.

Better yet, playact the critic to get to know this part of yourself. Then switch back to your normal identity and go back and forth in a dialogue.

Lean into the process.

If you can stand up to the critic’s mean, nasty nonsense, you might also discover a nugget of wisdom in its craziness.

That’s right — the critic isn’t only bad, it’s also trying to wake you up about something (albeit in an obnoxious way).

As counterintuitive as it sounds, it’s trying to get you to engage with your deeper process so you can change and grow in a positive direction!

Dr. Zwig
©2023 Dr. Adam Zwig

Meet Dr. Adam Zwig—psychologist, musician, podcaster, author, and educator. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology, has had 9 Top Ten hit singles on the U.S Adult Contemporary charts, and is an internationally renowned workshop leader and lecturer. He has been featured on Billboard, SiriusXM Radio, CBS Radio, and many other stations, and in People Magazine, SPIN, Pollstar, and many other publications. Dr. Zwig has released 7 albums, and his music can be heard on National TV, including NBC, Fox, and Fuel TV. He has more than 160 million views on YouTube, over half a million social media followers, and has scored in the top 10% of rock artists streamed on Spotify in 2022. His forthcoming book, Your Problem Is Your Teacher, shows how life problems are not pathological but rather personal growth processes trying to happen. His podcast, The Dr. Zwig Show, posts new episodes every Wednesday.

DISCLAIMER: The content contained herein is for inspirational, educational, and entertainment purposes only. Nowhere in this Blog does Dr. Zwig diagnose or treat a viewer with any kind of psychological, mental, emotional or physical disorder as might be diagnosed and treated by a personal psychologist or other professional advisor. The content is not intended to be a substitute for working with a therapist but is for the purpose of educating the viewer about new approaches to working on personal problems. Viewers should use this Blog at their own risk, with the understanding that Dr. Zwig is not liable for its impact or effect on its users. Viewing this Blog does not form a practitioner/client relationship between the viewer and Dr. Zwig. Dr. Zwig is not responsible for any action taken by a viewer based upon any information in this Blog. Never disregard professional medical advice or stop taking psychiatric medication based on something you have read on this Blog without a doctor’s supervision and ongoing therapeutic support. Dr. Zwig is an educator, author, and life coach in the U.S., and a psychotherapist in Switzerland. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology. He is also a rock n roll musician.