6 Strategies for Reducing Self-Criticism
Sep 28, 2022
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟, 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟, 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞, 𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤, 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐦. We all have an inner dialogue which can look like an inner coach, or an inner critic. What you think about yourself impacts how you feel, how you behave, and the results you get in life. The goal is to have self-talk that encourages you to want to improve, while also accepting the person you are without harsh criticism.
The way you talk to yourself can cause painful emotions, which makes it harder to show up and behave in the way you want to. If you sit with these painful or negative emotions for an extended period of time, it can negatively impact the results you get in your life. It can also negatively impact your relationships because you may either withdraw, if you don’t feel worthy of a relationship, or it could cause you to push someone away because they don’t want to hear you talk negatively about yourself ongoing. If this happens, you feel less connected to others, which can feed your inner critic who may be telling you others don’t want to spend time with you, or other people don’t like you.
If you are self-critical, you may find that you speak to yourself in a way that is much harsher than the way you would talk to anyone else in your life. The good news is that there are specific things you can do that will help silence your inner critic. Even if you have negative thoughts about yourself that stem from many years ago, it does not take years to change them. It is possible to give your inner coach a louder voice while silencing your inner critic.
𝐅𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐩𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐦.
- 𝐁𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐬. What are the negative things you tell yourself? The more specific and clear you are, the more effectively you can start to change them.
- Question those negative thoughts. Are they 100% true? Would everyone agree with you regarding the negative things you think about yourself? Just because you have a thought, does not mean it is 100% true. Challenge your thoughts and don’t let your inner critic make you believe the lies it may be telling you.
- 𝐋𝐞𝐭 𝐠𝐨 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐦, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝. There is no such thing as perfect, so let go of this concept. If something did not turn out as you wished, or if there is something you don’t like about yourself, ask yourself if there is there anything you can learn, fix, or take action on right now. If so, do it and then move forward. Nothing good comes from ruminating about the past because there is nothing you can change about it. You will feel much better, and have better results in your life, if you focus on the future, what you can control, and the attitude and effort you put into creating the future you desire.
- 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝. Would you talk to a friend the way you talk to yourself? You are likely much harsher with yourself than you are with your friends. You also likely extend much more compassion to your friends than you do to yourself. Be aware of what you say to yourself and try to start talking to yourself with kindness and compassion, like you would a good friend.
- 𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝟏 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐨𝐫 𝟏 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐰𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐝𝐚𝐲. If you are self-critical your brain wants to remind you of all the things you are not doing well, or all the things you don’t like about yourself. When you allow it to do this ongoing, you will stop noticing the things you are doing well, the things you should be proud of, or the things you like about yourself. Doing this exercise consistently will help strengthen your inner coach, and quiet your inner critic.
- 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐚𝐜𝐡. This support can help you gain breakthroughs and learn skills that will help you change your thinking patterns so that you feel better emotionally, and get better results in your life. Sometimes having an objective person, who only has your goals and best interests in mind, can help you make changes faster and more effectively.
Another tool that may help you manage your mind is my Guide to 5 Common Thought Distortions. In this free guide, you will learn what thought distortions are, how they negatively impact you, and you will learn specific strategies to help you manage any thought distortions you may have. You can grab it for free HERE.
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