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How to Fight off Your Inner Critic

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/how-to-fight-off-your-inner-critic/

theschooloflife.com

How to Fight off Your Inner Critic
How to Fight off Your Inner Critic - Articles from The School of Life, a gathering of the best ideas around wisdom and emotional intelligence.

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Your inner critic

Your inner critic

We almost all have a character inside our minds that tends to visit us late at night when we're very tired, telling us terrible things in order to destroy our self-confidence and self-compassion.

Too often, we don't know how to answer back. We forget that there might be any other perspectives. We let ourselves be beaten and sink into despair. However, we should prepare one or two things to shoot back at the critic when they next come calling.

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Every story has two sides

You could tell everything as a tragedy, or you could tell an equally valid and far kinder story. You could say that you made some serious errors, as every human will, and you paid the price for them. Nevertheless, you tried to be good and loved a few people properly. Despite everything, your heart is in the right place.

The difference between hope and despair depends on the way of telling conflicting stories from the same facts.

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Your inner critic was always an outer critic

... who has been internalized. You're speaking to yourself as someone else once talked to you or made you feel.

You should acknowledge your failures and be happy to make amends. But you also have to stand back from this critic and question what they are doing in your mind. They don't have a right to walk as they wish through the rooms of your mind.

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Life's a struggle for everyone.

Stop comparing what you know of your deep self to the shallow front others advertise about their lives.

Everyone seems to know how to live, but you don't. However, you don't know. We may decide what to tell and what to hide. A few people may appear to have perfect lives, but only because you don't know them well enough.

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No one knows the future

Despair presumes you know the rest of the story. You don't. Keep going; the loveliest things could happen all of a sudden.

So, if you think that things are never going to get better, stop. The truth is: you don't know.

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The fear of being alone

Concentrate on the people with very big hearts. Be honest with them about your pain - they'll find their way to you.

Thinking no one could ever love you sounds very tempting, but that can't be the truth. You've suffered, and you're honest and can be kind. That's enough for someone to stick with you.

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Thinking you're ugly

Maybe you think you're ugly. That might be true, but so are lots of people.

When you love them, you start to see their soul, and you love their character in them. You probably haven't thought about what most people you love look like.

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Cut your life up into smaller pieces

Who cares where you will be in five years? Make it to the next meal and a nice bath. If nothing terrible happens in the next hour, that is a triumph. Celebrate the peaceful next ten minutes.

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Diplomacy is the art of promoting an idea or cause without unnecessarily inflaming passions.

It involves an understanding of the many parts of human nature that can lead to strife and a commitment to handle these with foresight and grace.

Direct confrontation

Within a negotiation with someone, there is often a request that they change in some way.

A diplomat knows that it is futile to state the call to change too directly as many insist on having their way. Behind the arguing may lie a need for appreciation and esteem.

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The maximalist philosophy of reading

The maximalist philosophy of reading

The modern world equates the intelligent person will the well-read person. It's difficult to think of anyone arriving at any worthy insights without having read an impressive n...

Reading in the premodern world

The premodern world was obsessed with asking, "what is the point is of reading?" They had answers too.

  • For example, the value for Christians and Muslims was holding up one book - the Bible or the Koran - as more important than anything else. This book was read repeatedly and with great attention.
  • In the Ancient Greek world, one focused on just two books: Homer's Odyssey and his Iliad. These were all that was needed to impart the Greek code of honour and the best guides to action in military and civilian affairs.
  • In the 18th century England, the ideal of reading was focused on Virgil's Aeneid - all a gentleman required to pass as cultivated. More reading was viewed as eccentric.

Why the modern world read so much

The modern world has adopted an Enlightenment mantra that states there should be no limit to how much we read because we read in order to know everything. We don't read to understand God or to follow civic virtue; we read to understand the whole of human existence.

This maximalist legacy of the Enlightenment idea of reading is present within the publishing industry, within the way books are presented to the public at school and in shops, and within our own guilty responses to the pressure to read more.

Love is vital in recovering from serious mental illness

Love is vital in recovering from serious mental illness

Love is critical to help us keep faith with life and rescue us from severe mental illness.

In fact, anyone who has ever suffered from mental illness and recovers will do so...

Love is unconditional approval

When we are sick in our minds, we have this punishing sense of how terrible we are, even if we often can't point to a specific crime. We are appalled by, and unforgiving of, who we are.

In this situation, a loving companion can make all the difference. They don't try to persuade us of our worth. They make pleasant conversation about something that won't make us anxious. They can tolerate how ill we are and will stick by us. They love us for who we are rather than what we do.

Love and non-judgment

Patronising pity can make the attention of others oppressive.

Loving companions do not judge us as beneath them. They don't oppress us by clinging to their belief in their own solidity and competence. Our companions indicate that they too might one day be in our place and suffer with and for us.