9 Extraordinary Ways To Silence Your Inner Critic
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Slow down self-criticism by questioning your initial thoughts. The more follow-ups you ask yourself, the more you dilute the shameful moment.
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.
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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.
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