Your inner critic often makes it challenging to love yourself. But finding self-love is possible. Follow these 4-steps to silencing your inner critic and take a journey to find self-love that will transform your life.
If your inner critic has overwhelmed you with negative thoughts, it’s time to take a journey to find self-love.
The journey to find self-love has many advantages
When we find love for ourselves, we can better serve others. The Bible tells us to love others as we love ourselves, it doesn’t say love others instead of ourselves. If we don’t quiet our inner critic, the critic voice will stop us from doing what we are called to do to make a difference in the world.
We are to love others as we love ourselves, but as Paul gently reminds us in Philippians 2:3, we are to be humble and value others above ourselves. So yes, self-love, self-respect, and honoring our bodies and minds, is important and right, but we are to do so by loving God first, and respecting and honoring others above ourselves.
Self-Marriage as part of the journey to find self-love
Erin’s journey to find self-love began when she went to a festival and discovered the concept of self-marriage. Self-marriage is the concept that you are always there for yourself. She identified what she was looking for in a partner, someone to make her feel smart and beautiful, and there she learned that she could do this for herself. Through self-marriage, she committed to doing this for herself throughout the rest of her life.
Until this point, Erin had been looking for a guy that would make her feel smart and pretty. She thought that if she found that guy, she’d be able to go out into the world and be her full self. The self-marriage experience was a turning point for her, that she could do this for herself.
After this experience, Erin when to medical school to become a naturopathic physician.
What is a naturopathic physician?
Naturopathic physicians are trained to be primary care physicians. Toward the end of Erin’s school journey, she discovered mind-body medicine. She decided to work in this area to help people find their mental-emotional issues so people could heal from their physical ailments.
Erin worked in private practice doing mind-body healing for a while. She loved the deep work. Her work involved helping women discover that they were whole and complete as is.
During Covid, Erin decided to take her business online. Her focus became self-love. The experience of teaching classes on self-love since 2009 came into play to help her build her online business. In a nutshell, Erin helps women feel comfortable and confident in their own lives.
Our thoughts create our results
Robyn emphasized that we, as women, experience so many things in our lives, traumas, relationships, etc. that lead to inner criticism. We know that our thoughts create our results. Our thoughts influence our emotions and feelings which in turn influence our actions, inaction, and behaviors. If you aren’t working on your mindset, you will delay your ability to make progress in life or business. Likewise, you may not be able to discover true joy, hope, peace, and purpose.
The inner critic and the entrepreneur’s journey to find self-love
One hundred percent of people have an inner critic, including the most successful people. Erin’s first step to self-love is self-kindness. Self-kindness is the first step to managing the inner critic. Erin emphasized that self-love is a continual learning practice and development process. She doesn’t consider herself to be an expert in self-love as she is still learning.
One of the most common ways the inner critic shows up for entrepreneurs is through perceived failures. Failed launches, flopped reels, fear of going live or showing your face, comparison of other people you run into on your journey. The inner critic can stop you in your tracks.
The question of why her, not me, can really drag a person down. If your inner critic is saying someone else is doing it better, then it is important to realize that there is a reason they are ahead of you. Instead of criticizing yourself, dive into how you can change your scenario to achieve your goals. For example, maybe the other person is posting on social media consistently and you are in an anxiety tunnel. Or, that person has been at it for 10 years and you are only 2 years into the journey.
However, as easy as this sounds, the inner critic is irrational. Therefore, it is necessary to do the inner work.
The 4 steps to quieting your inner critic on the journey to find self-love.
- Get to know your inner critic – the voice that rails on you because she is trying to protect you.
- Give her a name.
- Write down what your inner critic is saying – get it out of your head and onto paper.
- This will help detach from your inner critic so that it won’t erode your heart and spirit.
- Identify where your inner critic is coming from, what is she trying to protect you from?
- There are two places where the inner critic comes from, growing up and experiencing childhood wounds and societal standards.
- The inner critic comes from a part of you that was wounded and hurt.
- She thinks there is something wrong with you, but there isn’t, and you are worthy of love. Ask yourself, what wounded part of you is the inner critic trying to protect?
- Where is the place of worth that the inner critic is trying to get you back to?
- Recognize and release your inner critic.
- Tell her that you love her but that she is wrong.
- Explain to her that you don’t have to do anymore to be loved.
- Don’t ignore her, acknowledge her, and tell her that you release her and that you can take it from here.
- Our brains are 2/3 more likely to believe something negative than positive and look for something negative 2/3’s more often than positive. It is part of life whether you are successful or not. This is often daily work.
- Replace your inner critic.
- This is the time to introduce a self-kindness practice.
- Train your body to be kind as a habit.
- The inner critic is the primary obstacle to being kind to yourself.
- Now that you can identify, acknowledge, and release your inner critic, you can create an environment where she won’t thrive, an environment of kindness.
The Undercover Kindness Tool to use on the journey to find self-love
It is called undercover kindness because no one knows what you are doing. Your inner critic is the number one obstacle to you being kind to yourself. Now that you’ve identified and released your inner critic, you can create an environment of self-kindness where your inner critic cannot thrive.
This is a way to train your internal environment to be kind to yourself.
There are three parts to undercover kindness on your journey to find self-love.
- Do this activity during a mundane moment in your everyday life. Erin recommends doing this when washing your hands or at times that are neutral and not stressful.
- Imagine every breath is a droplet of kindness. Send the breath to your body.
- Hold your body in a loving way. Check in with your body as you breathe. Where is the there tension? What part of your body can you relax or stretch?
- A kind inner dialogue with yourself. It will feel awkward but push through. Give yourself a pep talk. Congratulate yourself on doing a good job today, etc. Then, tell yourself that you love yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and save it. Over time, this practice will become more natural and comfortable.
Self-kindness is a practice, not something woo, but training your mind to be kind to yourself. This exercise will change how you.
When you transform yourself by quieting your inner critic and changing your inner dialogue, you are more able to have strong relationships with others, you are less irritable and less reactionary. The more you love yourself the more you will accept love from others and the love from God. In addition, loving yourself will help you feel worthy of the love of God and others.
Bible verses referenced in the episode
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”
James 2:8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
Remember, God loves you unconditionally. When you are battling with your inner critique, pray, fall into your faith, and be reminded of how much God loves you.
About Erin Willis
Dr. Erin Willis is known as the self-love doctor. She teaches women the skills to build a loving relationship with themselves as a means to show up more powerfully and authentically in their lives. She is a naturopathic physician, an expert in mind-body medicine, and the creator of the self-marriage program, “We are the Ones”. Erin is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, she is also the executive director of the non-profit, ParticipAid, which works to transform the way that healthcare is delivered in Nepal. Dr. Erin is passionate about honesty and bravery, with herself and with others, and her work.
For more Bible verses related to entrepreneurship, download the free eBook, 37 Bible verses every entrepreneur needs to reflect on and live by.