SELF CARE | The Inner Critic: From SHUT UP to SPEAK UP!

publication date: May 4, 2022
author/source: Joanne Linka

Do you have an inner critic? (Of course they don’t, Joanne! Only you have a nagging voice in your head!) Most people will admit to being held back by an internal commentary of criticisms that cause fear and insecurity resulting in a type of “paralysis” of thought and action.

We often have other voices too – parts of us that feed our doubts, fears, and anxiety through all kinds of mixed messages. Our instinct is usually to stamp out these voices, recognizing that their negative messages are holding us back. But how would you respond if I told you that those voices have a purpose and need to be listened to?

Our inner critic tells us that we aren’t doing enough, aren’t good enough or just need to try harder. It is often the voice that tells us that we are an imposter and it’s just a matter of time before people realize we are a fraud. Sound familiar? I think the charitable sector is chock-a-block full of people hearing these voices!

What many of us don’t realize is that this negative self-speak often comes from a place of deep hurt and trauma. It echoes a parent or caregiver from our childhood who spoke to us harshly. At the time, we internalized the voice to protect ourselves from being hurt. And, rather than disappearing once we were out of that hurtful situation, the voice stuck around and continued to try and protect us from other similar situations… carrying forward into our adult lives.

Getting to know that voice and its motivation for protecting you is a first step to understanding and having compassion for it. Once we understand what its job was as a protector, we can also understand why it is still trying to do that job, even though we probably don’t need it anymore. Making friends with your inner critic can be the first step to converting it into becoming your inner cheerleader!

For more information about understanding your internal voices, check out Internal Family Systems at

Joanne Linka is the Manager of Communication and Fund Development at The Cridge Centre for the Family in Victoria BC. She loves to dig into systemic issues and look for solutions that benefit the wider community. She can rant on any number of issues at the drop of a hat. When not working, Joanne is reading, in the garden or pestering her children.


Home page photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Like this article?  Join our mailing list for more great information!

Copyright © 2011-Current, The Hilborn Group Ltd. All rights reserved.

Free Fundraising Newsletter
Join Our Mailing List