Stress Relief Tool – Overcoming Your Inner Critic

Inner Critic

We all have one – that inner voice that tells us that “we are not good enough.” I know that this limited my opportunities many times in my career, and it is a common issue I hear from my clients, friends and family.

Our inner critic stems from expectations put on us by our parents, school systems, bosses and close family members who we want to impress. And when we don’t live up to those expectations, we often feel like we failed.

Sound familiar? It was certainly my script for most of my life.

If this resonates with you, consider a visualization activity that can help. You might remember that I wrote about the power of visualization in one of my first blogs. If visualization works for you, it can be used to overcome your inner critic simply by imaging your younger self as follows:

  1. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, and go to a place you like to relax. Maybe it is the beach, a lake, a park, your backyard – wherever it is that you would consider your happy place.
  2. Now imagine your current self looking at your younger self – young enough that you still are impressionable. Maybe that age is 5, 7, 10 – whatever age you remember being most happy.
  3. Now as your current self, open your eyes and write down the characteristics of your younger self that you most admire. What is it about your younger self that made you confident and happy?
  4. Review this list and recognize that this is who you are deep down inside.
  5. Keep this list handy any time you doubt yourself – reminding yourself that your inner child within your adult self can tap into qualities you might have forgotten you had.

The self-discovery you uncover about yourself using this activity can help you gain confidence and reduce your stress in the process.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Please note that there is no guarantee a particular stress relief tool will work for you. Thus you must take complete responsibility for using them and for your own physical and emotional wellbeing. Further, Professor Pete Alexander is not a licensed health professional. Please consult qualified health practitioners regarding your use of any stress relief technique. Medical advice must only be obtained from a physician or qualified health practitioner.

Related Articles


  1. Yes, You’re right, Mr. Alexander. But, Many times, people can’t remember those things. At that time, people are in a hurry. So, what do you suggest at that moment?

    1. Hi Vijay, in that case I would suggest you imagine yourself right after successfully completing whatever it is that you think you are not good enough to finish, and take in the feelings of accomplishment and other positive emotions – and take in all of your senses about that experience. This can be done in one minute or less.

New Report