An Easy Way to Stop Your Harsh Inner ESL Critic (Part 2/2)

Updated: May 3

Woman Shouting - Is this your harsh ESL critic?

Your native language might be different than mine, but I believe that our “inner voice” speaks a universal language. Sometimes that voice speaks the language of love and encouragement.

But sometimes it speaks the language of negativity and harshness. Is this true for you?

It is for me, and that’s why last week I dedicated my blog post to becoming aware of that inner voice that speaks to us when we say something imperfect in English, or in any language.

Remember a time when you were talking to an English-speaking client or acquaintance. You were trying to explain a concept that you had never explained before. What happened next? You searched and searched for the right word, but you just couldn’t nail it. And then? You felt yourself tense, and then the VOICE spoke up:

Why can’t you think of this word?! You know this word. What’s wrong with you?!

Ouch. Those are some pretty hurtful words. But that’s okay for now. As I mentioned last week, first we must become aware of the voice.

As soon as you can do that, the real magic starts to happen. You see, once you have become aware of the voice, you can use the following steps to turn it into a tool for growth.

5 Tips for Transforming Your Inner Critic into a Positive Force:

1. Don’t judge the voice. Allow the voice to say what it needs to say. After all, it is only trying to protect you. It’s the part of you that thinks that you would be safer if you just kept your mouth closed and never tried to say anything new. “Better safe than sorry,” the voice says.