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9 Extraordinary Ways To Silence Your Inner Critic

Pick Up The Phone

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.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

9 Extraordinary Ways To Silence Your Inner Critic

9 Extraordinary Ways To Silence Your Inner Critic

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/negative-self-talk-think-positive_n_3009832

huffpost.com

9

Key Ideas

Embrace Your Imperfections

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 just a little. If you give yourself the same empathy you'd show a friend, it will be so much easier to take on self-criticism and win. 

Pick Up The Phone

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.

Give Your Rants a Name, Too

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.

Give Your Inner Critic a Name

Naming it something goofy adds a bit of levity, which helps break through the emotional hold that anxiety has on you. Over time, this short circuits the whole anxious cycle.

"What Would My Best Friend Say?"

Decrease self-talk by imagining what someone you trust would say to you about it. Or if you use the same wording you use to self-criticize to criticize a friend in the same situation.

Put a Better Spin On Things

A simple semantic tweak can actually change your outlook. Instead of telling yourself, "I'm not good at this, I can’t do it," train yourself to say, "I think I may not do it. "

This little change of wording gives you distance and reminds you that your low self-esteem moment is just that: a moment. It describes how you feel instead of what you are.

Ask Yourself If You're Really So Guilty

Slow down self-criticism by questioning your initial thoughts. The more follow-ups you ask yourself, the more you dilute the shameful moment.

The Power Of Possible Thinking

Research indicates that when you're down and out and force yourself to say positive things to yourself, you end up feeling worse.

Using possible thinking involves reaching for neutral thoughts about the situation and naming the facts. "I'm a fat cow" becomes "I'd like to lose 10 pounds. I know how to do it. " The facts give you a lot more choices and directions you can go in.

Put Negative Stuff In a Box

Self-criticism often leads us to catastrophize minor issues. When negative thoughts intrude, take a few deep breaths, then narrow it down and imagine yourself putting it into the smallest box possible.

Seeing a tiny box in your mind shows the actual size of the problem and helps you feel more confident that you can take it on.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Accepting criticism

Criticism weighs more on our emotions than praise does. 

We remember negative events more vividly than positive ones, and we give more emotional weight to a loss than an equivalen...

Overvaluation of negativity

We tend to be more passive in life than we would be if we weighed negativity and positivity the same.

Bad outcomes seem to weight more in terms of punishment than good outcomes weight in terms of benefit, so it can seem sensible to speak out and try new things as infrequently as possible.

Elbert Hubbard
Elbert Hubbard

“To escape criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

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Replace Self-Criticism

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, ...

Talk Back

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. 

Separate The Critic From You

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.

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Replace The Bad With Some Good

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. 

Notice And Stop That Thought

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.

Say It Out Loud

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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Commitment Issues

Many people have unrealistic expectations of dieting, viewing it as a temporary solution, seeking immediate results, or resorting to exotic and extreme fad diets. 

Balanc...

Inadequate Sleep

Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down; this makes you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested. 

Get 7-8 hours of sleep around the same time each night and you will be ready to seize the day.

Poor Timing of Meals

Irregular eating schedules have subtle, yet traceable negative health effects and are associated with increased risks of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and inflammation. 

Simply by staying in sync with your circadian rhythm will facilitate weight loss. Try eating breakfast every day within one hour of waking up, then having a healthy snack or meal every three to four hours. 

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Criticism is a good thing
It illustrates what you're doing right, what you're doing wrong, and what you can do to become better at your job.

No matter how good or how seasoned you are, there's always room to grow.

Dealing with criticism that cuts
  • Distance Yourself From the Situation to allow you to calm down. Do not react or take it personally. 
  • Try to Understand Your Boss's Intentions. Is he's upset with your performance or exceptionally stressed or prone to say things he doesn't fully mean?
  • Summarize the Criticism. Repeat back exactly what you think she's driving at. Try and word the criticism in a more positive light. "so you're saying I need to find a new work strategy so I can improve my performance?"
  • Explain Your Perspective. The more specific you can be here, the better. 

  • Engage in a Dialogue. Work together with your boss to hash out the unspoken details of the criticism.

  • Suggest an Action Plan and make sure to follow it.
  • Consider Giving Criticism of Your Own if the criticism is misdirected.  Tell your boss that his/her criticism was unwarranted or unhelpful, but suggest alternative strategies he/she can use in the future to make his/her criticism better.
Turn The Heat Around

Make it your critic's job to prove themselves to you, rather than the other way around. 

99% of critics disappear when confronted with any kind of rigorous intellectual challenge....

Preparing For Battle

No one is going to engage in a serious debate with you when you look prepared for an academic beat down.

If someone attacks your work in a nasty way, don't get angry. Say instead something like:  “it’s interesting that you should say that because my research (cite some book or blog post) seems to suggest that the opposite is actually true. Is there some study or paper you can point me to that would validate your claim?”

Get Inspired

Use the criticism of your past work to generate ideas for new projects. 

For example, researching a response to a critic may lead you to read about or experience something you never would have before, which can open the door for all sorts of new experiments in your professional or personal projects.

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Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts
Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Listen to your thoughts — but don’t necessarily believe them.

They're suggestions, possibilities. But they’re not gospel. You can’t control what thoughts pop up, but y...

Identifying Unhelpful Thoughts
  • Black and White Thinking: There are heaping piles of nuance to most things.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Cynicism is bad, but a little skepticism is essential.
  • Selective Attention: If your brain is always looking for the negative, you’re gonna find it.
  • Disqualifying the Positive: Sometimes we go into problem-solving mode and focus only on what is broken.
  • Predicting the Future: “This will never work” or “They’re going to think I’m stupid.” You don’t know the future. So don’t act like it.
  • “Should” thoughts: It’s usually just an insistence that the world bends to your will and is a great way to amplify frustration.
Do More Stuff

Doing little positive things is better for happiness than occasionally bagging an elephant:

  • Enjoyable stuff
  • Achievement stuff: Defeat your goals in single combat and feel like a conquering hero
  • Meaningful stuff: Do volunteer work or just help someone
  • Physical stuff: Exercise. Not only keeps you alive, but it’s like miracle grow for your brain
  • Social stuff.

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You are not your thoughts

Most of us will do anything not to feel worried or dissatisfied and will try and find ways to soothe ourselves or find ways out of our problems.

However, the key to healing and understanding ...

Separate thoughts from the act of thinking

We usually buy into what our feelings tell us and allow them to overly direct our actions and choices. 

Instead, notice the act of thinking without getting tangled in your thoughts. See your thoughts as ongoing attempts to make meaning of the world — give them power only to the degree that they help you. 

Disobey yourself on purpose

The mind's power over you is an illusion. For instance, say one thing while doing the opposite. You will find that it is possible to do the opposite of what you are thinking. (For example, type, I cannot type this sentence, while you are typing the sentence.) Regularly doing this exercise can give you more freedom to do hard things.

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Engage in Observation Sessions
In order to get your brain to think in new and creative ways, set aside time to do something where you think differently: for example, people watching.
Socialize Outside Your Normal Circles

New people don't know your old stories, so you'll have to revisit your existing thoughts.

The new perspectives will help to think differently.

Read More Books

Books are great for creating new thoughts and stimulating good ideas.

Even if you cannot make the time for a book, spend time browsing a bookstore for plenty of thought stimulation.

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