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Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic

Andrea Seydel Live Life Happy Podcast Book Doula Writing Coach

Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic

Listen to entire book summery on the Podcast:

The inner critic is the voice inside our heads reminding us that we are never “good enough.” It’s behind the insidious thoughts that can make us second-guess our every action and doubt our own value. The inner critic might feel overpowering, but it can be managed effectively.

In the Book, Make Peace with Your Mind Meditation teacher and therapist Mark Coleman helps readers understand and free themselves from the inner critic using the tools of mindfulness and compassion.

In this Podcast, Blog, Article I hope to offer you constructive insights into what creates, drives, and disarms the critic along with simple practices anyone can use to live a free, happy, and flourishing life.

Are you ready to make friends with yourself so you can activate that place of true well-being? Transform the mind from inner critic to best friend. This inner critic is often buried deep inside us. Let's dig in with some excavation tools so we can make peace with our minds! Hopefully free us from our inner critic.

The inner critic is like a bad accountant who only looks at the column in red, or the liabilities, without taking the assets into consideration.

The Critic:

Change Is Possible

There is an epidemic of self-judgment and noticing the critic everywhere. Neuroplasticity and the power of choice. It's not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it's what you whisper to yourself that has the most power. Our brain is simple coding that we have the ability to change that programming. Mindfulness turns us the the power of choice. What we pay attention to changes the structure of our brain. BRIGHT SIDE Exercise- Next time you are in public take five minutes to notice everything you don't like. Notice how you feel. Then take the next five minutes notices everything positive and uplifting or beautiful. Notice how you feel. Simply by shifting your attention to what is uplifting, good, and positive has a direct impact on your state of mind and heart. Now do the same thing with yourself. Focusing on all the things you like and appreciate about yourself. Reflect on your accomplishments, gifts, and positive qualities. Call to mind the kind or generous things you have done. Appreciate your body and all it does for you.

Tuning into the positive in both yourself and others through out the day, to train your mind's bias from the negative to the positive. Take notice and become aware when the inner critic joins in on the conversation. "I made a mess of that Bookclub"

Imposter syndrome and peace

Imposter syndrome is about thinking "If they really knew who I am." It is estimated that 70% of people have imposter syndrome. "Who do you think you are?" The voice for self doubt and deprecation. The critic and voice of the imposter is a cause of low self-esteem.

How did I get here

Understanding the origin of the critic will help you to not taking your thoughts personally. Brain thinks about 60-70 thousand thoughts a day. Take a step back with awareness and look at this whole sideshow of thoughts without being entangles in them. You can distance yourself from the impact of thoughts ad not take them as a voice of truth, but simply thoughts coming and going like bubbles.

Inner critic is meant to keep us safe, in a way it is simply doing it's job, trying to protect us from future hurt, embarrassment or rejection. THe problem is that is does not go away and plays like a broken record, constantly repeating itself. We need to ackwneldge the critics value and role it plays, but at the same time, intercept it when it is not helpful or relevant. Since we are social creatures, our need for love and affection is paramount, and the critic, is trying to help us keep harmony. We have a deep need to be loved and cared for. The critic is there as a function to help us survive, avoid humiliation or loss of love. The problem is the mechanism of the critic does not know how or where to stop. We also create a mistaken loyalty to the critic

CONSIDER: Do your judgments sound like an authority figure from your past? Were you teased by siblings or friends that had strong views about that were not kind? How might your judging mind initially been developed to help you fit in or be accepted?


STEP 1: Use mindful awareness to recognize when it is operating. Notice that voice. STEP 2: Start to pay attention when those thoughts are coming up. Notice what they are saying. STEP 3: Question the thoughts themselves. Thoughts are often Not true. STEP 4: Begin to remember your gifts, experience, and talent, which stand in direct opposition to the self-doubing thoughts.

REPLACE JUDGEMENT WITH DISCERNMENT- Think about something problematic in your life or needs attention. Notice if any of your judgments are negative towards yourself.Do you judgments imply you are bad or less worthy? How do the judgments make you feel? Move to a place of discernment with no judgement. View the same things from a place of learning, growing, managing. Eg. Un-cut grass and weeds in the garden. Can you see the difference between approaching a situation with judgment and viewing it with decrement.

Understanding Self-Judgment

It's about you, stupid.

The inner critic attacks your innate value and fundamentally attacks yoru sense of self-worth. It becomes important to connect with your inherent value. How can you become more appreciative of your body and your uniqueness on this earth. You have value and worth simply by existing. Express your innate goodness by for example: " I am enough," "I know my worth." or "i have value being alive"

Stop the Mantra of "Not Enough": Knowing when enough is enough. You need to stop the mantra of "not enough" as it is a feeling of lack and becomes a habit of comparing. The critic often employs this damaging "not enough" mantra, reminding you there is always someone smarter, younger, sharper, kinder or more successful than you. Cultivating gratitude practice is essential. Do exercises as written reflections, a mediation or both. Begin turning your attention to all the things you re grateful for, including: All that you have right now, what is already right here, and all that you are freely given.

The inner Boardroom

Understanding the voices in your head and naming your critic. Do you have the killjoy, persecutor, controller, underminer, fault finder, abuser? Or perhaps a drill sargent, perfectionist, judge, taskmaster, penny-pincher, nitpicker, or simply a critic? Identifying your inner boardroom

The impact of the critic

Instead of spending our lives running towards our dreams, we are often running away from a fear of failure or a fear of criticism. Reducing the impact of judgments by going through your day, try to sense the impact that judgements are having on you. How do judgements make you feel? Start to look at judgments analytically. Ask yourself: Is the true? What is it trying to say? What might lie beneath it? Can you see that it is just a point of view, not absolute truth? Practice acceptance instead of judgment. Notice if the critic is coming up in relationships too. Towards others?

How to Work Mindfully with the Critic


The power of awareness

Cultivating mindfulness

Hello Judgments

Realizing judgments are just thoughts

Recognizing your judging thoughts

Teflon Mind

The power of non identification

Not identifying with your judging thoughts

Keep it in the Family

Recognizing the origin of the critic

Identifying the critics voice

The joke is on you

Seeing the funny side of the critic

Finding humour in the critic

Reality Check

Are your judgments really true?

Questioning the critics view

Sorry I'm Not Interested

Living with disinterest int he critic

Cultivating disinterest in the citric

The Power of Love

Befriending Yourself

You are not your enemy

Healing your inner wounds

The Power of Vulnerability

The hidden strength of the heart

Opening yourself to vulnerability

The Power of Love

Turning from Self-Hatred to Self-Kindness

Cultivating self-kindness

Transforming Pain

Moving from self-harm to self-compassion

Developing self-compassion

Giving up Hope of a Better Past

From Self-blame to self-forgiveness

Fostering Self-forgiveness

Beyond the Critic

Inclining towards happiness

Paying attention to the good

Reassessing Your Self-perception

Who are you?

Seeing the good in others

"Just like me" meditation

Inner Peace

A Life beyond the citric

Noticing the peace between thoughts

The Critic Toolbox

Defending yourself against judgments

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