You know that negative inner voice that attacks and judges you far too often? The critic that compares you to others around you and tells you that you’re lacking in everything you do? Sets impossible standards of perfection, beats you down for the smallest mistake and then reminds you of all your failures? Sound familiar? The Pathological Critic.

The tricky thing is that it can quickly become a kind of psychological beast that steals any good feelings you have about yourself and the great things you do. We tend to listen to our critic’s voice because it’s coming from within; it’s familiar and often appears to make sense.

Here are some tips that will help you disarm the pathological critic and regain your power from within:

The negative inner voice can be strong and sometimes loud so it is important to be assertive to overpower it. Tell yourself to “stop it” or “no more put downs” etc. To effectively overpower the negative thoughts going on in your head, the words you tell yourself need to be meaningful and enriched with positivity. For even better results, make them as bright or as loud as possible to defeat the beast.

If you allow the negative inner voice to dominate your mind then everything you do and anyone around you can be affected.  Ask yourself this, what price am I willing to pay with my work, my relationships, my body or my well-being if I continue to listen to these criticisms! Assert your self-worth and take a stand against the critic by reminding yourself of your qualities, the things you do well and the good moments you have. This can be hard to do if you are used to thinking in a negative way, however it becomes easier with practice and you will start to feel the results.

Celebrate the small wins you achieve because they are part of the foundations of the pathway towards the greater goal. It’s common for people to forget about the little wins. However when your goal is long term they are important to recognise because they are like stepping stones, each one gets you closer to what you dream to achieve. For example if your goal is about weight loss you could celebrate when you get out of bed to exercise even when you didn’t want to at first, each measurement that is smaller than the last, when you’ve made the right the choice of food to eat.


Criticising yourself doesn’t motivate you to perform better; it only makes you feel bad and struggle to take action. To pull yourself out of this space, remind yourself that the pathological critic is merely just an illusion and is not to be listened to. If you’re someone who anticipates rejection and failure, it doesn’t make it any easier to cope if it happens. The power of positive thinking is extremely effective. It allows you to feel more motivated to achieve what you want and maintain continued success.

These strategies are designed for you to train your mindset into a new way of thinking so if the pathological beast does rear its ugly head, you have the power to stop it and turn it into whatever you want. Remember, self-confidence and self-belief develops with repetition.

Coach Adam Tardif

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