Squash the Inner Jerk

Making Life Work for You was very fortunate to have Joseph Bernard stop by. He left a comment that still has me chewing and writes a blog that is now in my reader. Comment, blog, brain turning – yep, that’s the phenom trifecta!

The topic was believing in yourself and Joseph’s point #2 was

Shrink the inner critic. Most of how we talk to ourselves is learned. Self-criticism serves no positive benefits.

Makes my brain move and I will tell you why and I am hoping we can talk about it as it is still an idea I am moving through.

I am going to take the points backwards

  • I think that self-criticism does have positive benefits. Now, this disagreement of point may be little more that semantic in nature. But, I do think that honest introspection requires that we be our own critic. However. If we are talking about that jerk that lives in our brain – the one that doesn’t offer constructive criticism out of love and want for a grand development – squash him without mercy.
  • You don’t even have to feel guilty about bashing that psycho jerk to id never-never land because he only exists because you allow it. Meaning, I do believe that how we talk to ourself is completely learned. It is either developed out of our own personality or taught to us by those around us. It really doesn’t matter which. What does matter is the jerk is in our head and he must be dealt with – regardless of how he got there.
  • Shrink the inner critic – yeah, shrink him, but don’t get rid of him completely. Actually, I think I feel more comfortable keeping him appropriately. If I am doing those things I am good at, he can take a break. If I am working on a new development or branching out, maybe I should listen to suggestions a bit. But only from loving critic – not the pessimistic jerk.

Now, this is a topic that gets a lot of discussion, so I know you have some thoughts. Feel free to share them now.


  1. April this is going to take some chewing on… Cause my inner jerk is usually right! How can that be?

    • D – I am betting your inner critic…the one that loves you and wants what is best for you is usually right too. But, that voice, who is good and motivating, is drowned out by the ass. So just get rid of the one and have insightful conversations with the other 🙂

  2. Dan O'Neil says:

    I’m in the camp that says get rid of the inner critic completely. There are usually a number of inner-critics depending on the situation and although their intention is positive – to keep you safe or remind you to pay attention to what is happening – the outcome rarely benefits you. They create tension, anxiety and pressure on you that doesn’t help you at all in your endeavours. Most people choose to ignore them (once they become aware of them) and they can then replace them with positive affirmations or support themselves with inner-motivators instead!

    Kind regards,

    Dan O’Neil

    • Dan – thanks for stopping by!

      And I agree – sort of. If you have not learned how to handle criticisms or feedback that questions, I agree that they bring about negative outcomes. So, maybe it isn’t the critic that is the problem, but our ability to handle honest, constructive criticism. It just seems to me that if the intent is positive and our reaction is negative, then it is our reaction – not the catalyst – that is the problem.

      And we have know hit the crux of why this can my brain working in that way that I love 🙂

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