by Denise Jacobs
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Imposter Syndrome is that inner voice telling you that your work is not good enough or, even worse, that you’re useless as a person.
Instead of applying self-criticism, we need to actively practice the opposite: self-compassion.
Self-compassion is realising that self-criticism is the enemy and then acting to reverse its negative effects. Self-compassion also helps to unlock creativity.
The two components of self-compassion:
Awareness of your inner critical voice is crucial. This then enables you to see your critical thoughts for what they are: thoughts.
Being more aware of what your brain and mind do when sensing a potential threat in the form of being judged and receiving criticism will encourage the development of a calmer part of the mind.
There are a number of so-called cognitive distortions that are relevant to the Inner Critic:
The good thing about negative confirmation bias is that it can be flipped to create a positive full-filling prophecy too.
Rather than walking around in a perpetual state of feeling that no one believes in you, you can be on the hunt for support. Take confirmation and use it as a force for good to seek out positivity rather than negativity.
Something happens and we imagine the absolute worst. Our mind plays tricks and we start ‘awfulizing’.
To stop this:
If we actively apply realistic optimism, looking at the facts of the situation at hand without embellishing or minimising them, we can avoid a ‘spiralling’ effect.
There are a number of valuable tips to help you learn to take criticism well and use it to get better at whatever you are doing:
Letting go of our preoccupation with the trajectory of other people’s lives, we can transform our envy from a stagnant, blocking force into a powerful motivator for growth.
The tools and ideas above help us reframe our self-criticism; seeing critical thoughts for what they are and combating them with compassionate thoughts.
Be so busy improving yourself that you have no time to criticise others.
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Moving from self-criticism to self-compassion
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