Silencing Your Inner Critic | 5 Quick Fixes for When You Have No Time!

Happy person with thumb up with techniques for silencing your inner critic

In this article I’m sharing 5 quick fixes for silencing your inner critic. These ideas are for when just need your critic to stop—Pronto!

Are you about to give an important presentation, try a new recipe, new hairstyle, say “No”, have a job interview—or something else? One of these techniques will help!

In this article:

  1. Inner Critic Recap
  2. 5 Quick Fixes for Silencing Your Inner Critic —Fast
  3. The Trick, the Hard Part and Questions to Ponder
  4. Wrap-up

This is the fourth in a series of inner critic articles. In previous articles we covered that The Inner Critic is WHY Fierce Kindness Exists. You may also like to learn how the inner critic is formed, how it stops us from becoming all of who we are and why we need to be kind to our critic.

A Quick Inner Critic Recap

Whether you call it your “Inner Critic”, “Gremlin” or “Judge” we all have one. It’s a part of us that ignores or diminishes our achievements, focuses on our flaws and mistakes and is sometimes plain abusive: Well, that was a stupid thing to do! No-one’s going to promote you now! WHAT an idiot! and worse…

We now know there’s a positive intention hidden underneath the snarky/abusive comments: to make us better people, and to protect us from making mistakes, ridicule, criticism and rejection by others.

But our critic is stuck in a time-warp, its goal to keep us safe, taken care of and loved—even though we can now do this for ourselves. It hasn’t (yet) learned better ways to make us pay attention than being mean. And it’s still driven by the unhealthy belief that the most important thing in our lives is what others think of us.

Well, by now you know the critic’s methods don’t work. Who does their best work, who could possibly be happy and enjoy their lives, while someone gives them verbal abuse? We wouldn’t tolerate it from friends, so why do we allow it from a part of ourselves?

We must stop identifying with our Inner Critic

What makes us feel terrible is when we believe or agree with what our critic says. Our critic is not who we are! And that’s why Step 1) of our ICAN Inner Critic Process is to recognize we are separate from our inner critic.

But sometimes we just need a quick fix, and that’s where the 5 techniques below help.

Here are 5 Quick Fixes for Silencing Your Inner Critic — Fast! * Hand with Butterflies offering solutions for silencing your inner critic

Next time your notice your inner critic at work, first remember that your critic is not YOU.

Then use one of these 5 easy techniques:

1) Chuck your inner critic down a BOTTOMLESS well

Literally pick your critic up and throw it down the well. Listen as the voice recedes into the blackness. Did I mention the well was bottomless?

Important: you’re not harming your critic, just separating them from you! And what better way than down a bottomless well—or a black hole if you prefer. Eventually it’s so far away from you that you just can’t hear it any more.

And if your critic returns? Simply chuck it down the well again.

You can do it. Deep breath and imagine.

2) Put your inner critic in a SOUNDPROOF room

This idea for silencing your inner critic does exactly that! Put your critic in a a padded, soundproof room where it cannot be heard.

You can give your critic food, water and even a good book to read! We don’t want them to suffer. What we want is that you just can’t hear them any more!

If your critic escapes, as soon as you notice, simply put them back in there again. Repeat as often as necessary!

3) MANTRA: Thank-you. Not now. I love you. I’ve got this.

This technique for silencing your inner critic takes a different approach—kindness and reassurance.

Paper Heart for quotes exercise

Simply speak to your critic using the mantra: Thank-you. Not now. I love you. I’ve got this. Feel into it. Make sure you mean it. Repeat a few times until you are calm.

The essence of this mantra is:

  • Thank-you for caring enough to say something.
  • Not now. Now is not a good time. I need to focus. I will come back to you later and we can de-brief.
    • Note: It’s important to follow through and actually listen. So later on, at a more convenient time, give yourself some quiet time and have a conversation with your critic. This could be aloud, with a friend or partner—or in your journal. Listen and acknowledge the concerns of your critic, and take action as needed.
  • I love you. Know that I care for you. I know you mean well and I love you unconditionally.
  • I’ve got this. I know what I’m doing. I’m aware there is some risk and/or scariness here. But I’m doing it anyway. I have this.

4) Get SILLY: Turn your critic into a cartoon character

Instead of silencing your inner critic this technique helps us not take the voice so seriously…

What cartoon character makes you laugh or smile? What seems childish?

  • Now imagine the voice of that cartoon character.
  • Next, how does the cartoon personality look? What are its mannerisms? How does it walk, talk, act?
  • Now put the words of your critic in that character’s voice.

It’s hard to take your critic seriously when it sounds and looks like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob SquarePants, a Teletubby or Cartman.

5) Be your favourite TREE! A tree full of character

This silencing your inner critic technique fully occupies your mind and support you so that the critic loses its hold over you. A powerful visualisation helps you ground yourself and uses all 5 senses to refocus your mind where you want to be—in a calm state of being.

  • What’s your favourite tree? Now stand up and imagine being that tree. Feel your feet flat on the floor. Know the ground is always there, supporting you.
  • Now breathe deeply and root yourself into the ground. Literally imagine yourself sending tree roots into the ground from your feet. You are solid, grounded and safe.
  • Now imagine you have branches with leaves, maybe even flowers. You are beautiful!
  • How does your favourite tree feels? What is the bark like? The leaves? You are real!
  • What does your favourite tree smell like? What can you taste?
  • What can you hear? Is the wind whistling or brushing through the leaves? Are you creaking? Whispering anything? Are there birds? Crickets? Or perhaps a bone-deep quietude?
  • Once you’ve fully embodied your favourite tree, enjoy this for a minute or two. Allow yourself to be, to feel.
  • Turn your ‘calm and safe’ dial up to maximum. Enjoy.

Then slowly return to the world and get on with your day.

You may also like our Tree Grounding Meditation: Connect to Your Roots: The Best Calming Ritual—Ever! (find calm in just 1 minute). This is similar (but different) to the process above

* IMPORTANT: These techniques are not intended to be the only way we deal with our critic. They’re a supplement to ongoing inner critic work. So use these ideas when you need a clear head to focus—fast!

So, what’s the trick to silencing your inner critic?

The key with all 5 of these ideas (or any other scenario you can imagine that works for you), is to separate you from your inner critic. Your critic is simply one small part of you, and you can re-take charge of your self, rather than let the critic’s worries and fears hijack you!

The Hard Part: When you take charge of your self, you’ll need to work on being who you really are. You’ll need to learn to value yourself, to value your opinion. You’ll need to learn what’s important to you—and to stand up for that no matter what your inner critic or anyone else says. And this takes time and practice.

But that’s why you’re reading this—because you’re already on that journey. So, pat yourself on the back, give yourself a hug and smile at the new YOU in the making!

  Some homework questions to ponder:
  • When does your critic typically show up?
  • When do you most need a “Quick Fix” to deal with your inner critic?
  • Which of the 5 techniques for silencing your inner critic can you see yourself using—and when?
  • Which technique might you have the most difficulty with—and why?
  • And lastly, what does your critic think about this article?!
    • Is it scared/hopeful/excited/relieved/skeptical/apprehensive?

Wrap-upFierce Kindness Logo

So there you have 5 ways to help with silencing your inner critic—fast!

These inner critic techniques are not intended to be a long-term solution. Instead they’re to get you out of a sticky situation or help you re-focus when you’re tired and just need a break.

The long term (permanent) solution goes much deeper, getting into our limiting beliefs, habitual thoughts and behaviours. We also build our confidence by creating a Fiercely Kind, Wise Self—that can handle anything. Lastly, it also involves being kind too—after all our critic is really just a frightened child and simply needs to feel safe.

Remember: if our inner critic is a part of us—and we created it—we can also change it…

Here are links to the first 3 Inner Critic Articles:

  1. An Introduction to The Inner Critic – Mine and Possibly Yours Too…
  2. Who, What & Why: A New Understanding of Your Inner Critic!
  3. What is the Inner Critic? And What to Do When You’re Under Attack!

And you may also like:

Change the world. Start with you!

Image of Happy person giving thumbs up with techniques for silencing your inner critic on a yellow background by krakenimages via Kraken Images


  1. Virginia

    Soundproof room and a bottomless well – like those along with the vacation.
    The tree exercise will be good to ground and center any time you choose.
    I like to use a visual of a mountain, meadow, or lake with flowers all around.

    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Hi Virginia,
      I have been thinking on this more! The bottomless well is not entirely kind! But it is kind to US if we need a break. But I was thinking the bottomless well could have nice music and flowers or gorgeous scenery on the way down… And then your mountain/meadow/lake/flowers suggestion!
      And yes, ANY time you want to calm and ground yourself, the tree is helpful 🙂
      Em x


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