Three tips to challenge your inner critic

weekly radish 46

Being your own cheerleader

In this week’s video, I return to the thorny issue of our inner critic and offer three tips to turn that voice into an inner cheerleader.  Let's face it, we can often be our own harshest critic.  Many of us would never dream of speaking to another the way we speak to ourselves.  We over-analyse every action, word or deed and then go to town on ourselves being hyper-critical.  If you think about it, there is a kind of logic to it.  We want to be the best we can be and want other people to like and accept us.  More than that, we want them to love us, respect us, admire us.  And it's often those drivers than push us to pounce on every fault, mistake or inadequacy (real or perceived).  

So, watch today's weekly radish video and start to think about how you can become your own cheerleader.  It is possible to change that tendency to self criticism.  You can do it.  Watch and apply one or more of the tips in this video.

The Weekly Radish is coming to up to it’s one year birthday! I will be moving onto a new project at that point, so keep an eye out for more information on my ‘Man Sprouts Project’ (check it out at  More of that in future videos.  For now, watch and learn why a daily mindfulness or meditation practice can be vital to your wellbeing.

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Keep an eye out for the next blog.

Dave Algeo
Motivational Speaker on resilience and men's mental health. 

Feeling maxed out?  No headspace, time or energy? Here's a short video with three tips to help you.


- Be your own cheerleader. Now this week, I really visit that thorny issue of our inner critic, that voice inside our head that can do so much damage by reminding you of the things that you're rubbish at, telling you how useless or hopeless or pathetic you are, whatever that voice is. It can be so damaging. So here's three tips to help you start to welcome in your inner cheerleader. Tip number one. Know and believe that you can shift and challenge your inner critic. In previous Weekly Radishes, I've talked about the fixed mindset versus the growth mindset, and the evidence that supports the possibility and the benefits of adopting a more growth mindset focus. That supports what I'm talking about here. Your inner critic may always be there, it may always have a propensity to take over at times, but you can challenge it, you can shift it. You, first of all, need to believe that you can. Secondly, you need to know and be aware that you have an inner critic, and know what its warning signs are. What are the warning signs of that inner critic? Do you find yourself starting to feel really low mood? Do you find yourself becoming really anxious? Do you find yourself, that little voice getting louder and louder, or starting to do that a bit more to you? Know your warning signs, and be aware of them. So it's about believing that you can shift that inner critic and then being aware when it starts to kick in. Tip number two. When you catch yourself in the act, what I want you to do is flip the inner talk. So flip that negative comment, pick a particular comment that may be repeated or that is particularly strong or critical or damaging to you. Pick it, and then shape it into its opposite. Now the reason I say this is not that you suddenly believe the opposite. It's because it will export how ridiculously extreme sometimes these comments are. So let's give an example here. Let's say my inner critic is telling me how useless I am, how much of a waste of space, and how pointless I am as a human being. I mean nothing to anybody. Quite extreme, but let's be right, that can go on and on. Let's flip that though, to the positive. I am now the most valuable person on the face of this earth. This planet could not function without me. Now, just sit with that for a moment. That might sound, and let's be right, is ridiculous. Clearly, the world will go on without me. But by completely reversing the negative comment, to a positive comment that sounds ridiculous, albeit it would be lovely if I was the most important person on the planet, it is unrealistic and it's not true. But if that's the opposite of the negative, just how extreme and unrealistic and not true was that negative comment? And start to focus back on how ridiculous that negative comment was. Because we are never, never ever as bad or as terrible as we perceive we are. And we're never as good as we think we are either. We're somewhere in the middle. Hopefully more towards the positive, but let's keep it real. Turn that negative, that extreme negative, into the extreme positive, see it for what it is, ridiculous, reverse it back on the negative, see that for what it is, is ridiculous. And accept you're somewhere in the middle, and that you're more probably towards the positive. And the third tip for the inner critic. Just step away from that particular comment. Imagine that that comment was made by a friend of yours about themselves, that they were saying that comment about themselves. What would you think? What would you say? What would you be saying to that person? Would you be saying, oh yeah that's true. Which is what we tend to do in our head. Or would you be saying, hang on a minute, mate, you're being really, really hard on yourself. You need to take a look at that, you need to get a bit more rational, you're not that bad. Or look, you're nothing like that. Mate, I've known you for years, you are not that person. That's what we need to be saying to ourselves. We need to turn that into the cheerleader that counters it and drops in the antidote to that poison that corrodes, and starts to build ourselves back up. We need a cheerleader that is on alert for when the negative kicks in, will take action, and start to boost you, rather than allow the corrosive, negative effect of that inner critic to carry on. So your three tips are, believe you can shift your critic and challenge it, and catch your inner critic in the action. Then, as a quick tip, reverse the negative comment into the positive, and realise just how ridiculous and untrue that negative comment was about yourself, and start to counter it with some really positive self-talk. And the third one is, imagine if that was a friend of yours that was saying that about themselves, what advice and things would you be saying to them? And say them to yourself. Why don't you make the Daily Sprout part of your wellbeing five-a-day. Sign up at and never miss another Daily Sprout again.