First of all, congratulations on being able to identify your inner critic. This first step is actually half the battle. Once you recognize the voice of the inner critic, you become more aware of its existence and its messages. One simple next step you can take is to actually write down what your inner critic says. The process of simply writing down the attacks from our inner critic can help you create the space between you and the inner critic. For me personally, I began to find some of these attacks ridiculous once I wrote them down.
Instead of engaging with the inner critic, try a few responses that exert a strong energy such as saying "NO" or "SHUT UP" loudly. One can also use humor if it feels right. The idea here is to use a response with an energy level stronger than the inner critic to reject or deflate its message. You will know when you defeat your inner critic when you no longer have an emotional reaction to that specific attack.
One more suggestion here is that you can make note of your physical and emotional reactions throughout these experiments. Notice how effective defenses feel like in your body. This can also help you re-create these defenses in future times.
It might feel awkward and vulnerable when you first start working on the inner critic. It might be helpful to work with a trusted friend or a coach (have someone pretending to be your inner critic can help you come up with effective defenses). Regardless how you choose to work on this, just remember that if you bring consistent and conscious effort to combating your inner critic, it will become weaker and thus allow you more positive energy, freedom and creativity to achieve what you set out to achieve in life.
Lastly, here is a wildly popular TED video from Brené Brown. Although the main topic of the talk was on vulnerability (which deserves another blog post), another message stood out loud and clear to me:
"There was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it. And that was, the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they're worthy of love and belonging. That's it. They believe they're worthy."
"And so these (whole-hearted) folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect."