How to Shut Up Your Inner Critic as an Introvert

3 min

You know that voice?

The voice that whispers,

“You can’t”.

“You’re not good enough”.

“What will people think”. 

Also known as the inner critic. Or, as I call it, an assh*le.

That voice used to be pretty loud in my teens. It’s still there assh*ling sometimes, but I have learned to shut it up.

And it’s important to shut it up. Because if you don’t, it will continue to make you live as a watered-down version of yourself.

Let’s explore what this voice is, why we have it, and how the hell we can duct-tape it, lock it in the basement, and starve it to death.

Introverts have a loud mind. And the inner critic roams around in your mind with a loudspeaker.

Now let’s do one thing. Let’s give it a name. I call mine Larry. I named it after Larry David. Because it sounds exactly like him in the show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (good show by the way).

So, Larry was not there when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. But, when I hit puberty, it suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

In my teens, Larry acted as my life assistant. Larry had an opinion about everything. I mean eeeeeeeverything. He low-key controlled my life.

If I wanted to ask a girl out, for example, I had to ask Larry first. And obviously he said no. And not only did he say no, he gave me all the reasons why it was a bad idea and how I’m going to get rejected and make a fool of myself.

I was a teenager. What did I know? I trusted Larry.

When I got out of college and into the real world, Larry promoted himself from life assistant to my boss. I took orders from Larry. He guided all my life decisions. Even thoughts and emotions. He knew all my buttons. And he knew exactly when to press them.

Larry was a mean insecure confused incompetent douche. I had the courage to go out of my comfort zone and try things. But Larry held me back. Like when I started my YouTube channel. But only after making 13 videos and 136 subscribers (which was normal), Larry asked me to quit.

“I told you, you’re not good enough. Your scripts suck and you don’t know how to act.”

But, one day, I got pissed. Let me tell you the story.

I was working as a creative director and had to give a presentation to a client. The product was a water purifier.

I prepared for a couple of weeks. Researching and reading everything I could get my hands on. Made all the slides. Came up with a great USP. But right before the day of presentation, Larry creeped in and whispered… “You’re gonna blow it”.

I tossed and turned for a couple of hours. My mind started cooking ugly scenarios. I woke up at 3.30 a.m and re-did the whole presentation.

The next morning, when I showed it to the clients, they crossed their arms and gave me the look. I knew that look. The look that shouts in your face: IT SUCKS.

They were about to leave, when I called them out.

“Wait, I have another idea.”

I still had a copy of the old presentation. And by the end of it, they were grinning from ear to ear.

I just stood there thinking, what the hell was wrong with me. Trust me, self-awareness never hit me that hard.

And that night I decided to shut up Larry. Like forever. Even if I had to strangle him to death. I didn’t care.


The conversation that silenced my inner critic forever

It felt like a Mexican standoff.

“So, you said it’s gonna blow up?”

“Exceptions are always there. It was blind luck” said Larry in his defense.

“Oh yeah?”

“Of course it was luck. You knew it was bad. Look what happened with your YouTube channel and the novel and the blog. You’re no good. You are a pile of failures. It was luck.”

And that was the first time in my life I said the words that changed my entire psyche.

I said, “Hey Larry, shut the fuck up.”

Larry is the confusion, self-doubt, paralyzing fear. Larry is self-judgment, self-rejection, and negative self-talk. Larry is guilt, shame, anxiety, and overthinking.

We all have our Larry’s and Linda’s. Living rent free in our heads. Guiding our behaviors, beliefs, and life decisions. And they will continue guiding your thoughts, emotions, and actions if you don’t stop them.

If you don’t realize they are NOT REAL.

Seeing Larry as a different person is proof that you have the power of awareness. That you are not your thoughts and emotions. That you have the power to detach and observe yourself.

Realizing that you are not a slave taking orders from your inner critic, but a fearless, powerful, conscious being. And you have to respect that gift of self-awareness by living as the most authentic version of yourself.

And a simple way to do that is to dive into your inner world, face your inner critic, and tell it to:

“Shut the fuck up!”

Stay blessed,

– Karun

P.S: If you want to learn more about how to build self-control and master your thoughts and emotions, you can check out my program ‘Awakening’ HERE.

P.P.S: If your name is Larry/Linda, and you’re reading this, you’re a beautiful person. No offense 🙂