My critical voice: where it came from and how I quieted it

For the next couple of weeks leading up to our Critical Voice class and five-day challenge to tame our critical voice, I will be sharing with you where my critical voice came from and some tools I’ve used to quiet it.

I learned to be critical.  

When I was young, my dad was outwardly critical of everyone and everything. It was rare that anyone could do anything ‘right’. I don’t think he meant to be or even realized he was, it was learned for him as well; it felt normal.

My mom, on the other hand, was very critical of herself. I don’t remember her criticizing others, although she never gave herself a break, again a learned behavior that felt normal, so it wasn’t questioned.

I learned to be critical of things in my outer world and of myself from my parents who learned it from their parents, it’s generational behavior.

When you’re used to feeling critical it is your normal.

When you’re critical of yourself and others, you can’t feel joy.

Those critical thoughts attract more thoughts to match them and lead to having a critical spirit that shows up outwardly.

Going against my Truth.

Going against my truth to fit in, people pleasing, manipulating, compromising myself to gain something (money, power, prestige), was a major contributor to being critical of myself.


Feeling separate from others when I longed for love and connection led to being critical of myself. I built a wall around me and rejected others before they could reject me because my inner critical voice told me they would. While my outer critical voice would say there was something wrong with them; they were unfriendly, snobbish, weird…


We all suit up in our social masks when we go out into the world. We know what we hide inside and compare that to others who are wearing masks of ‘I’ve got it all together, I’m confident, I love my life…’ We don’t know what they’re hiding inside, but we assume ours is worse. Comparison robs all your joy.

These are a few things that contributed to being critical.

It’s necessary to change our thoughts if we want to change our words and our actions.

Now that we have some awareness and desire to make changes, let’s start with gratitude. If you think about it, it’s not possible to feel critical if you’re truly in gratitude.

When we change the world changes.

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  1. Tammy Cantrell on February 5, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    Wonderful post, Judy! I loved how you described that a pattern soon feels ‘normal’ so isn’t questioned. I feel like these new generations are breaking curses and chains of conformity. It’s refreshing to see the new paradigm taking shape; however, sad to see when others can’t maintain the required level of energy. I believe the main culprit for that is the ‘critical voice’ of which you speak.

    Again, wonderful and introspective post!