How to Combat the Inner Critic

My mind started up again.

You should have spent more time with her.  You should have been more intentional.  You should have….

The inner critic begins to criticize my choices for the day.  Depleted and frustrated, I give in to the should haves and start to critique myself.  My mind goes to the extreme with “I never…”  and “I always…” statements that are not true.  I wonder if I measure up.

Do you ever feel like you are not enough?

I think many of us struggle with these feelings especially as an Enneagram 1.  Our inner critic speaks loudly in our minds questioning everything we say and do.

Friend, if this describes you, I want to encourage you today from a fellow Enneagram 1, Holley Gerth.  We talk about her new book, *The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You, on my Depth Podcast Episode 57.  I love what she shares about how to combat the inner critic. 

In her book, she has some great word comparisons that really helped me better understand negative thinking: rumination, self-criticism, and perfectionism.  She says, “Rumination is about our circumstances. Self-criticism is about our identity. Perfectionism is about our performance.”

She encourages us to exchange Rumination for Reflection. 

Rumination focuses on the negative whereas Reflection focuses on the positive.  Taking time to reflect is a valuable skill which will help us not get stuck on the hamster wheel of rehashing our day over and over.  Also, reflection connects us to ourselves and God whereas rumination is isolating.  Lastly, rumination leads to self-criticism, but reflection leads to self-awareness which is so important.  Self-awareness is the key to change!

These truths are so freeing and helpful to my enneagram 1 mind.  Hope they are encouraging your mind too. 

I love the wisdom she shares about perfectionism vs. growth.

“Perfectionism is all or nothing. Growth is little by little.

Perfectionism is all about the goal. Growth is more about the journey.

Perfectionism is about outward appearances. Growth is about what happens on the inside.

Perfectionism is about what we do. Growth is about who we’re becoming.”

Growing deeper in my faith and stronger in my relationships.  Friend, I want the same for you!

When your inner critic starts to ramp up, remind yourself that you are a work in progress.  You are becoming who God made you to be just like Philippians 1:6 says. “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.”  Praying this gives you hope!

Love, Jodi

Depth Podcast Episode 57

*Amazon affiliate Link

Your Copy Now


Depth Podcast Latest Episode

209. Draw Near — Hadassah Treu

Has God ever answered, “No” to one of your prayer requests? Did you have a hard time accepting when God’s answer was “No.” I don’t…

Read More »



I love to get the right book into a reader’s hands! After each podcast, I will be giving away a copy of the book that I am recommending!