4 Ways to Stop Beating Yourself Up, Once and For All
Our brains automatically look for evidence that matches up with what we believe about ourselves, but often disregards other evidence to the contrary.
To break this automatic tendency, deliberately say something different to yourself and then actively search for evidence that the new statement is true. The more examples you come up with to support your alternate view, the less self-criticism will come around.
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Talking back to your inner critic is an important part of taking away its power.
Telling the critic you don’t want to hear what it has to say begins to give you a sense of choice in the matter.
Self-criticism isn’t innate to us, it’s internalized based on outside influences, such as other people’s criticism, expectations, or standards. It’s a habit that can be unlearned or controlled.
One way to separate yourself from the self-criticism is to give it a name. Doing so, you better positioned to free yourself from its influence.
Constantly slowing down and paying more attention to your thoughts will help you notice self-criticism. Negative emotions such as doubt, guilt, shame, and worthlessness are often signs of self-criticism.
Once you are aware of the critical voice, you will be in a position to stand up to it.
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Take a negative thought and change it to something encouraging that's also accurate. Repeat until you find yourself needing to do it less and less often.
Simply stopping negative thoughts in their tracks can be helpful. This is known as "thought-stopping" and can take the form of snapping a rubber band on your wrist, visualizing a stop sign, or simply changing to another thought when a negative train of thought enters your mind.
Telling a trusted friend what you're thinking about can often lead to support or a good laugh when the negative self-talk is ridiculous. Even saying some negative self-talk phrases under your breath can remind you how unreasonable and unrealistic they sound, and remind you to give yourself a break.
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Being young is being curious. And most people become cynical and overly critical towards life as they grow older, and only a select few retain the wonder, innocence and joy of a child.
Our inner critic is usually formed in a system based on right and wrong answers and outperforming others on structured tasks. Listening to our inner critic will rarely improve our creative work - it may actually result in conformative work.
We need to turn this inner-critic into an inner-coach and drive our personal growth.
We do not need to suppress or kill our inner critic, but only need to re-educate it, but only need to deploy three simple ways to make space for the inner child:
It's freeing and relaxing to stop holding yourself to insanely high standards. Success overwhelmingly requires failure and perseverance, not perfection.
So relax your standards ...
Shame works better if we keep it secret. So find the courage to do the counterintuitive thing and tell someone what happened -- invariably those conversations end with laughter.
Instead of feeling like it's some kind of valid feedback, this highlights how consistent the stories are.
We have pretty much the same thoughts today that we had yesterday, which should clue us into the fact that they're habits, not necessarily truths.
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