Need to know how to stop your self criticism? Want to become your own best friend, your own source of positive encouragement? Read on. . .
If you’re one of the 99% of people who spend much of their time telling themselves they’re “Overweight” or “Unhealthy” or “Stupid” or any other negative adjective, odds are you need to learn how to stop being self critical. Recently I took a card out of my pack of Power Thought Cards and read: I release my doubt and my fear. The card seemed to know me eerily well. For if I’m honest I have recently been full of doubts and fears and if I could get rid of them I would certainly feel a lot better.
I used to be a terrible self critic, tearing myself to pieces, being utterly self destructive. I couldn’t do anything without telling myself it wasn’t good enough. Anytime I’d send an email to a publisher or write a blog entry I would tell myself it wasn’t good enough, regardless of how good it was. Every day we are given countless opportunities to be self critical; but we are also given countless opportunities to be positive. To begin to be positive and to silence our inner critic is to recognise our self criticism. Without awareness, we cannot hope to change. You need to be mindful of your inner voice, mindful of what that voice is saying to you. Left unchecked, your inner critic will complete destroy your confidence.
This is one of the best exercises for self esteem. All you have to do is give your inner-critic a name. Let’s call it Vox—Latin for voice; seems logical enough.
Anytime you’re doing something important, Vox comes up rearing his ugly head, peering down on you with a dubiously raised eyebrow and a look of distain. “That’s not good enough,” he mutters, or something equally negative. If you leave Vox unchallenged he’s going to go on putting you down. You can’t let him get away with it. Self doubt destroys people; you can’t let Vox ruin you.
To take care of Vox, start by telling yourself that the inner critic is just a voice. It’s just a though, that’s all; it’s not real, it’s not important, it’s just a construction of your own mind. It has no bearing on reality.
Next up, ask yourself whether what your inner voice is saying is true. If, for instance, your iner voice says “You’re fat,” ask yourself whether it’s true. If you then happen to decide that yes the negative voice is true, try to look at things in a different way. For instance, If you are a little overweight at the moment, don’t tell yourself you’re overweight, tell yourself you’re working towards becoming fit and healthy. This way, you’re looking at things in an honest light, but a positive honest light.
If your inner critic is telling you that something negative is going to happen, for instance, that you’re going to lose your job, look positively at all possible outcomes. For instance, imagine that you did lose your job but your grew because of it and ended up benefitting by it (by getting a better job, for instance), but also imagine working hard to keep your job. This way, whatever happens will be a positive.
Recite a positive affirmation or mantra that is the opposite of what your inner critic is saying, for instance: I am a healthy person / I am successful / I am a popular and loved person, and so on.
The final step is the one that will stop you being self critical completely: act on the positive. Take one action that is motivated by positive thought rather than negative. If your inner voice is telling you you’re fat and unhealthy, say to yourself that you are working towards health, then eat a healthy meal and go for a walk / run / do something positive. The action will completely silence your self critic and get you thinking and acting positively.
These are the best ways how to stop your self criticism. And when you stop the self criticism you will feel more inwardly quiet and peaceful. Try it today.
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