Most self-criticism and self-judgement is motivated by love. Part of you is just trying to motivate the rest of you to do something for your own good . . . The problem is that it tells you only part of the truth.

Jack Canfield


Where Does The Negativity Come From?

If you’re human, you have negative self-talk. That’s because it’s hardwired into your brain. Long ago, avoiding predators, poisonous plants, and disconnection from the tribe were all essential for survival. That’s why our evolutionary biology prioritized painful, aka dangerous, situations in order to ensure that the homo sapiens species could thrive. As a result, experiences that cause stress hormones to be released from the adrenal glands hold their emotional power long after the event has passed. When your brain criticizes you or tries to warn you off, it’s activating this primal neurological system.

Sometime in your life, you experienced stress, fear, and very likely a sense of powerlessness. It’s completely normal to have this happen especially as a young child. At that time in life, the entire world is bigger than you and there’s a lot you just don’t know. So, if you’ve had more stressful or threatening situations than you had the ability or support to process and resolve, your brain came up with a solution.

It created stories.

These stories were designed to help you to avoid danger and pain. They were created with a child’s point of view and you very quickly outgrew them. Like a snowsuit you put on when were 6 to protect you from the cold, these stories created a cushion between you and the environment. Years later, you’ve grown but that snowsuit is still the same. It doesn’t fit. You’re uncomfortable. And, it’s keeping you from connecting with your life. These stories became your self-criticism.

Your Epic Formula

The way you think about yourself and the way you speak to yourself, even if only in your mind, has a powerful impact on your wellbeing and happiness. It seems that your inner critic is readily available to tell you how you’re not measuring up. What’s a bit more difficult to come by is your inner ardent fan. Apply this epic formula to eliminate negative self-talk’s and self-criticism’s effects on you. 

Step 1:

Recognize when and how you speak negatively to yourself. No doubt, you’re familiar with your inner critic. It’s that voice that tells you



‘You Can’t’

‘You Shouldn’t’

‘I Wouldn’t If I Were You’

‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

‘Don’t Get Too Big For Your Britches And By The Way, Have You Seen How Small Your Britches Are?’

Step 2:

Awaken to why your self-talk has been negative.

Jack Canfield is right. Your inner critic is coming from a place of love and it’s only telling you part of the truth. That’s because it formed when you were young and small. Try to picture yourself in a child-sized snowsuit. It’s pretty uncomfortable, right? It wasn’t designed to hurt you but because it’s a poor fit, it constricts and limits your life.

Step 3:

Write yourself a letter from your inner ardent fan and read it out loud. This is a simple practice that reverses negative self-talk and self-criticism. This action provides you with written proof that you do have an inner ardent fan and will give you an opportunity to acknowledge her every day. Doing this practice will help you get the rest of the story, what Jack means by ‘only part of the truth,’ that your inner critic has been hiding from you.

You’ll need some time and a bit of quiet space for this, initially. It can be helpful to be out in nature, and, if possible walking. Create a list of 5 qualities you have that other people have told you they appreciate. These can be qualities of body, mind, or spirit. Take those qualities and write yourself a fan letter. Read it every day.

What If I Can’t Write It?

If you find that you’re having a hard time coming up with the five qualities or writing a loving letter from and to yourself, that tells you that there are inner blocks. These blocks are very likely stories that you as a young person, or someone in your life, gave you. They look and feel true but they’re not. The rest of the story is hiding behind them. Coming to understand them is like finally figuring out how to get out of that snowsuit. Once you do, you experience a sense of lightness, freedom of movement, and possibility.

One of the best ways to supercharge this process is to work with a qualified coach. Having an unconditionally supportive coach who believes in you, empowers you, and celebrates you makes all the difference.

About Zette

Zette Harbour is an iPEC certified life and leadership coach, and, an award-winning professional storyteller, who helps women who want to live as their heart desires but experience feeling stuck and limited learn how to become unstoppable.

To connect with Zette, book a complimentary Discovery Conversation today.

Listen to her free 2 Minute Body Sense Meditation as an excellent practice and support in accessing your intuition.

Follow Zette at Morphosis Coaching on Facebook.

Photo Credit: pawel szvmanski,