Stop Being Self Critical

Stop Being Self Critical

Have you ever been sat on your own but you still hear that self critical voice pointing out the errors, faults or imperfections in you or what you are doing? Sometimes you will be considering things that happened, and thinking about how you could have done this or said that and made things so much better.

Self criticism is very damaging and will lower your self confidence and self esteem. How can you stop yourself?

First of all you need to spot yourself doing it. Watch out for negative words creeping into your thoughts – “You idiot”, “You fool”, “what a mess”, “It’s rubbish, no-one will like it”.

When you hear your inner voice saying this stuff write it down and consider it objectively. Is this really true? How can you prove it? If you have no proof cross it off, if it is true, keep it.

Think back to when the criticisms may have begun. A stressed and angry parent, a teacher at school, older siblings all may have made you feel inadequate through a mistimed but potentially unkind word.

Let these invalid beliefs about yourself go. They are no longer relevant and belong in the past. Mentally throw them out. Use those criticisms that hold some truth as something to learn from. They can be an important catalyst for change. Embrace them positively. For example “You’re lazy” can be turned into “I’ve been lazy in the past it’s true, so I’m going to start looking after myself and exercise more.”

Being self critical is destructive and limiting. The more you continue it the more the messages become imprinted in your self-belief and the more real it will become for you. It is important to be aware of your limitations, but equally important to realise our strengths.

When you hear your inner self critical voice whining away or even strongly insisting on your failings counter it with a strength or accept your human fallibility. For example, “You did that wrong again” can be replaced with “OK. I’ve made a mistake again, but what can I learn from this to do it better next time” or even “Not perfect- but a good try! Well done you!”

Finally keep on your toes for when that inner nag starts up again. Some people like to put a personality to their inner personas. A self critical voice may be seen as a weak, whining creature that doesn’t deserve your time.

Mastering your inner critic is an important step in improving your self esteem, so stop being self critical without taking positive steps to change today!

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