How’s that little voice in your head doing these days? You know the one. The one that never hesitates to jump in and tell you what a screw up you are. The one that loves to point out your shortcomings. The one that’s always quick with criticism and even quicker to torpedo praise. Whether you label this little voice in your head your ‘gremlin,’ your inner critic or your personal saboteur, the reality is that we all have a little jerk that spews bile at us in ways that we would never speak to people we love. For some of us, the critic’s voice is an occasional visitor in times of stress. For others of us, the critic is a relentless companion who seems to be on a mission to take contentment away from our lives. Here’s the thing to remember: your thoughts are not facts. They are simply thoughts. There are two ways I’ve worked to get my own inner critic under control: one, I gave him a name (Fred) and I tell him (politely) to f*ck right off when he’s raging; and two, I start every day practicing gratitude. I focus on how I want to feel (content and at peace) and, over the years, have made progress on how much power my inner critic has over me. Allowing our thoughts to continue on a negative loop is truly our choice but one that takes practice to quieten. But in my experience, it’s definitely worth doing.