It’s amazing how mean we can be to ourselves. The inevitable truth about your full-time inner critic is it knows your biggest weaknesses and darkest secrets. And during times like these where we are forced to spend time with ourselves, we might be prone to slip off the edge a little easier than usual.
It doesn’t matter how successful, kind, giving or loving you are. The part that judges you tends to ignore all the good. It gains strength when you buy into its awful statements and it thrives when you act in self-defeating ways after it attacks your hope or character.
The more your actions are dictated by your inner critic, the more influence it has over you in the future.
Let's tame that beast.
Let's build a more understanding inner dialogue that has the power to neutralize the negative effects of your inner voice’s judgments against yourself and even other people.
Anytime you catch yourself in the midst of self-judgment, try to actively acknowledge this. People often listen to their critical inner voice without realizing it. It comes through almost as background noise.
We get so used to hearing our own narrations that it’s easy to become oblivious to the messages that we’re sending ourselves. Pay attention to what you’re thinking about and recognize that just because you think something, doesn’t mean it’s true. Or that you can't change the narrative.
When you make a mistake or you’ve had a bad day, you may be tempted to re-play the events over and over in your head. But, repeatedly reminding yourself of that embarrassing thing you did, or that questionable thing you said, will only make you feel worse and it won’t solve anything.
Instead, try to distract yourself with an activity, it can literally be anything – like going for a walk, organizing your fridge, getting a game of DOOM in or talking about a completely different subject. Stop the critical thoughts before they spiral out of control.
Ask yourself what advice you’d give to a friend. If a friend expressed feelings of self-doubt, I'm assuming you wouldn’t say, “You never do anything right,” "You're weak and ugly" or “You are so stupid". It's time to start treating and loving yourself like your best friend or your own child.
Sometimes it’s tempting to envision a mishap turning into a complete catastrophe. But often, the worst case scenario really isn’t as bad as we might imagine.
Your inner dialogue will either fuel your success or prevent you from reaching your full potential. While your inner critic can help you recognize areas where you want to improve, overly harsh negative self-talk will cause you to suffer. Practice taming your inner critic and silencing the negativity so you can coach yourself in a productive and helpful manner. Practice really makes perfect-ish.
No matter your ups and downs, successes and failures, loves and losses — you can find comfort and strength in knowing that you are a good person.