You’ll never speak to anyone more than you talk to yourself in your own mind. So what would someone hear if they were to listen in? We all hear negative mental chatter throughout the day, from the “shoulds” and “could haves” that keep us awake at night to the doubts we face after leaving a meeting at the office. Evaluation is a healthy part of keeping us on track and improving performance. But more often than not, insistent internal criticism is neither productive nor helpful. For this, you can thank your Inner Critic: a powerful, pessimistic filter through which we excessively judge our circumstances and ourselves. If it goes unchecked, this internal voice can cultivate fear and faultfinding, holding us back and causing us to question our self-worth. Ignoring or fighting against this invisible censor will have little effect on countering negative thought patterns. Instead, I’ve found mindfulness and self-love offer a better roadmap to successfully navigate the mental minefield. Next time your Inner Critic rears its noisy head, try practicing the following “Three C’s” to deal with negative thoughts and gain more peace of mind.