I love food—a whole lot. I could be having the worst day in the world, and food would fix it. The best meal I ever ate was a year and six months ago. I’d been invited over to my mentor’s house for dinner, and he’d made a stew. This stew was so good that I had three bowls and then begged him for the recipe. He refused.

Every single time I’ve asked for the recipe, he’s denied me. At this point, I think he may have prayed over an empty pot, and God himself sent the stew down from heaven, so there actually isn’t a recipe to give, and he just doesn’t want to admit it.

Regardless, I would do almost anything for that stew—or really any food that tastes good.

And so would your inner critic.

Well, maybe it wouldn’t for stew.

While we feast on actual food, your inner critic can have a feast of its own. Your inner critic feeds on negativity and thrives on it. The more you allow it to feast on negative thoughts, the more negative thoughts it wants. Did you know that 80% of our thoughts are negative?

The inner critic isn’t some big, unstoppable voice in your head. When I was younger, I used to think that I had no control over how I felt about my writing and was subject to whatever negative thoughts came my way. Without realizing it, I was overfeeding my inner critic, and it was completely out of control.

If you’re over-feeding your inner critic…

You’re probably really judgmental about your own writing. You have guilt over how ‘bad’ it is, which eventually causes you to stop writing completely! You’re burdened with a false humility—thinking your writing is literal garbage and refusing to show it to anyone because then they’ll actually tell you how it is. Your pride can’t take hearing another person call it trash.

However, some people have an under-fed inner critic, which is a completely different problem!

If you’re under-feeding your inner critic…

You think your writing is pure gold. Devine and sent from the literal heavens. People can’t tell you it’s terrible because you think they’re jealous of your ability! Any feedback you receive, you dismiss it because, obviously, they don’t understand your creative genius!

So what do you do?

Like most things, it’s a balance. If you have an over-active inner critic, you’ll beat yourself to a bloody pulp and never write again. If you never criticize yourself, you’ll be delusional and unteachable.

Sometimes, we have to recognize that the worst parts about ourselves might also be our biggest strength. If you can manage to work with your inner critic instead of against it, you’ll be unstoppable. Invite God into how you critique yourself. Invite him in to the negative thoughts you have or invite him to teach you and show you where you can improve.

The first step to overcoming your inner critic is recognizing which issue you struggle with. So, do you overfeed your inner critic or underfeed it? Let me know in a comment below!

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