How to transform your inner critic to an inner coach

Do you have an inner voice? I’m curious to know because I read an article the other day, which said that not everybody has one. Mind. Blown. For those of us that have that voice, sometimes it can become our greatest enemy, criticizing our every move. You can’t do that. You’ll never look like them. It’s exhausting dealing with this. So, today, I thought I’d talk about turning our inner critic to an inner coach. 

inner critic to inner coach

What is the inner critic? 

The inner critic is a concept used in psychology/psychotherapy to describe the negative thoughts that we have about ourselves. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t even have to be our own voice.  

For some of us, it’s a voice of a parent, an ex-partner, or current boss. No matter who it is, the inner critic often provides ruthless commentary over our lives. 

Useful article:

What is the Inner Critic?

The Critical Inner Voice Explained

How does it develop? 

inner critic to inner coach

Studies argue that the inner critic develops when we’re extremely young. Even though we have no recollection of those times, the words spoken to us by those around us have been shown to have long-lasting consequences. 

Those of us who have a more negative inner critic voice have often experienced a lot of negative comments during childhood. On the other hand, those who received more positive talk from caregivers, tend to have more of a positive inner coach instead of an inner critic.

Useful article:

Childhood Trauma and Your Inner Critic

Negative comments 

So how do you recognize your inner critic? Well, let’s look at some of the things that our inner voice might say. 

  • Why do you keep trying? You’ll never be good at it. 
  • You’re not attractive as those other people.
  • You need to be perfect or else no one will like you. 
  • What’s the matter with you? 
  • Why can’t you be like them? 

As you can see, these comments can be pretty destructive to our self-esteem. Yet, we are the ones who constantly tell ourselves these nasty things. So, we must learn how to transform this inner critic to an inner coach.

Turning your inner critic to an inner coach 

Acknowledging its existence 

inner critic to inner coach

I truly believe that the first step towards solving any issue is admitting to yourself that it exists in the first place. So many of us live in a constant state of denial, simply because facing the truth exposes the dark ugly truths about ourselves. 

So, the next time you find yourself in a cycle of negative thoughts. Instead of trying to distract yourself as much as possible, take a second to tune into your inner critic. 

What kinds of things are you saying? When are these thoughts most likely to come up? How long does this experience last? Personally, I use a journal to note down whenever I engage with my inner critic voice.  

I’ve found that I tend to spiral into negative self-talk whenever I receive feedback from others. Instead accepting these sometimes helpful comments, I hyper-focus on all the negative aspects of my work. Learning this detail about myself has been game-changing for my personal development.

Once you’ve become aware of your inner critic, we can now work on facing them head on. 

Useful article:

Meeting The Inner Child – How To Find Your Inner Self

Challenging with factual evidence

inner critic to inner coach

I’ve found that the technique called Cognitive Restructuring, is extremely useful in combating negative thoughts. I won’t go into the full details of the technique, but a major component of it is to construct a legal case against you inner critic. That means taking into account the supporting evidence from their side and then countering them with contrasting evidence.

Supporting evidence 

Now hear me out, I know it sounds dangerous to engage with your negative thoughts like this, but it’s for a good purpose. Let’s use of the example of my own interactions with my inner critic. As I mentioned earlier, I have a hard time dealing with feedback, especially on academic work. So whenever these thoughts arise, I first find evidence supporting the claim that ‘I am not good enough to be at this university’. These might include: 

  • My supervisor seemed unhappy in our last meeting. 
  • The last draft I sent over received a lot of comments. 

These are some of the things that tend to trigger my inner critic. Now, let’s take a look at the opposing side.

Contrasting evidence 

Some examples of contrasting evidence would be: 

  • The comments she left were simple formatting issues. 
  • My supervisor respected my arguments but simply did not agree with them. 
  • I haven’t been kicked off the research program yet. 

As you can see, these statements are fairer and based on reality, whereas the previous ones were simply based on my imagination. By getting yourself to look at both sides of the argument, you’ll challenge yourself slowly transforming your inner critic to an inner coach. 

Positive affirmations 

inner critic to inner coach

Finally, the last way you can deal with your inner critic is by overpowering their voice through the use of positive affirmations. Your voice is an extremely powerful tool. Think about how often you hear it throughout the day. It’s no wonder that the brain places such a high value on the words that come of our own mouth. 

So, to transform your inner critic to an inner coach, you have to tell yourself the things that your inner self desperately needs to hear. 

  • I am capable 
  • I am loved 
  • I am enough 

Over time, these words will slowly reprogram your inner critic, transforming it into a coach who wants the best for you. You must keep consistent with it though. I’ve been engaging with positive affirmations for a few months now, and I’m only now starting to believe the words that I speak every morning. Slowly, but surely, you’ll get there! 


So to finish off, let’s recap the ways of turning your inner critic to an inner coach. Firstly, you have to acknowledge the presence of an inner critic. Don’t ignore it any longer. It’s time to face it head on. Once you start understanding the patterns that your inner critic engages in, you can then build a legal case as to why they are wrong. Finally, be kind to yourself and speak your affirmations into existence. You’ve got this! 

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14 Replies to “How to transform your inner critic to an inner coach”

  1. This is a really great post! I think a lot of us have an inner critic but I love the idea of flipping that into something more positive.

  2. I swear, sometimes just saying, “I am enough,” changes everything. It brightens the mood. It takes the edge off. The weight on our shoulders goes away.

    Thank you. I needed this.

  3. Great post! My inner critic gives me a hard time each day. I found that affirmations help. I also write down the negative thoughts so I can combat them. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I definitely have an inner voice, and it can be quite critical at times! One thing that I read is to remember that your inner critic is trying to help you (by encouraging you to do better) – although of course, the critic operates in an extremely harmful way and often hurts far more than helps. So when you are dealing with your inner critic, you can say, “Look, I know you THINK this is helping, but let’s try to improve the situation in a more productive, positive way.”

  5. as a person who always care about inner voice, mental life and mindfulness, i have to say that I find your article is very useful and informative. Thank u for taking your gut to share this. I love it!!

  6. This is a great post. I know that I want to become a life/relationship coach, and I am taking a course to do this. Your post has helped me along my journey. Thank you for such a great blog post.

  7. Thanks for sharing! Definitely something to consider next time I start thinking about it. I like the idea of turning the inner critic into something more positive!

  8. Re;
    “ you have to tell yourself the things that your inner self desperately needs to hear.
    I am capable
    I am loved
    I am enough” —

    Diligent daily repetitions of the above, for the past 14 months, have been making the Inner Critic steadily bigger, stronger, and more vicious. How many years or decades are usually required to get it started working? Please tell me as soon as you can, because at age 59 I don’t have many decades left to cure an internal stage hat has been mine since (at the latest) age four. I’ve been through A LOT of therapies since Iwas first sent (BY MY UPSET MAJOR ABUSER) at age 5, have diligently done ALL my therapy homework, and I’m still wondering when any good results may occur. PLEASE ADVISE.

  9. too bad this article ignores the idea of the need to be vulnerable. i.e., listening to your inner child will help you understand why you have an inner critic and what it (you) needs. simply repeating “i am enough” without understanding why you feel you’re not not only doesn’t address the issue of why the critic exists, you don’t take advantage of the opportunity to find out that its ok to change and in changing find that you are enough because you have the ability to change and grow. **

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