Are You Too Hard on Yourself and Trapped in a Cycle of Self-Criticism?

Marlena Tillhon MSc
4 min readSep 15, 2022

I used to wear being hard on myself like a badge of honour.

There was no one who could be harder on me than I was on myself — I made sure of that.

And I was proud of it too!

I didn’t realise just how much I was harming myself.

It wasn’t until decades later that I realised that I was just doing the dirty work for all the people who had ever bullied, harmed or hurt me.

I was left with this critical voice in my head that was completely out of control.

The worst part for me was that I had internalised the voice of all the wrong people, the ones I had left behind, the ones I never wanted to see or speak to again.

Only that they now lived within me.

And that was not something I was willing to accept.

I needed an exorcism fast!!!

At least, that’s how I felt at the time.


This is also how most of my clients feel.

“Marlena, help me to get rid of the inner critic, I beg you.”

Fast forward to the end of my client’s journey and the inner critic is no longer a problem.

There’s no constantly berating yourself, seeing everything that you think you are doing wrong, calling yourself an idiot, telling yourself how you could have done something better or fearing that you’ll never achieve anything of importance in your life because of how much of a failure you think you are.


What would that feel like for you?

Seriously, imagine it.

Can you feel that sense of relief?

The lightness of the moment free from self-abuse?

Ahhh … bliss.

That’s when you have the energy to do something cool with your life.

That’s when it gets easy to take risks, make bold moves and say yes to exciting adventures and opportunities.

That’s when you attract people into your life who respect, value and love you too.

That’s when the outside matches the inside for all the right reasons.

So let me tell you 3 VERY important facts about the self-critical voice in your head that I call the Inner Critic.

Know Your Enemy

You need to understand your inner critic. It isn’t a part of you that you want to get rid of. It’s a part of you that is completely misguided and tries to protect you from external harm (being ridiculed, judged, rejected etc.). Obviously, it’s doing this in all the wrong ways.

But looking at the Inner Critic like some gross disease you need to get rid of NOW, is going to give more attention, focus and energy to it.

Plus, it puts you straight into your threat system and you’ll feel called to fight/flee/fawn/freeze (= your choice of threat response).

In my work, I don’t fight the old. I focus on building the new. There’s only so much energy we can expend and I am all for using it wisely.

Train Your Brain

For decades, you have trained your brain to provide you with self-critical thoughts.

This is now an ingrained habit.

Whatever you teach your brain to focus on, grows. This quickly becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. One you now need to break free from.

A huge part of dealing with the Inner Critic is to train your brain to pay attention to new thoughts.

It is about learning to resist the negative and unhelpful ones — the thoughts that make you feel worse about yourself and demotivate you from taking positive action — while coming up with new and helpful ones.

These kinds of thoughts are all compassionate, kind, respectful and loving and they motivate you to create a better life for yourself that’s easy for you to enjoy.

This is the work that I call mind mastery.

Reclaim Your Worth

The Inner Critic comes from a place of ‘not good enough’.

It’s the voice of unworthiness.

It’s the mouthpiece of toxic shame.

And it’s all lies.

The Inner Critic shows up when you are disconnected from your sense of self-worth.

So instead of focusing on how to get rid of the Inner Critic, learn how to reconnect to your sense of self-worth.

Just to reassure you: Your worth hasn’t gone anywhere.

It can’t. It’s always there. You’re always worthy.

But if no one showed you or taught you, then how are you to know?

Worse, if people behaved towards you as if you were unworthy as a child, you couldn’t strengthen the connection to your inherent worth.

It’s not your fault.

But it is your responsibility (and privilege!) to reclaim your worth.

And then just watch as the magic unfolds.

More soulmate connections.

More whole-hearted conversations.

More connection.

More love and intimacy.

More soul-nourishing experiences.

More success.

More money.

More fulfilment.

The list is endless.

You can create a life you love no matter what has happened to you before.

You were born worthy.

You still are worthy.

Are you ready to step into that truth and experience life in a completely new way?

If so, I invite you to join ‘Worthy, Lovable & Deserving’, my signature program all about reclaiming your self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem.

Join by visiting my website. I’ve included a link below the photo.

I can’t wait to watch your magic unfold.

With Love, Marlena

Reclaim your self-worth, feel confident and open up to experiencing real love from a place of personal empowerment and freedom.



Marlena Tillhon MSc

Epic Love Relationships & Aligned Success through Inner Healing & Self-Mastery - follow me on IG @lovewithclarity and visit me on