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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:
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.
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.
Be so busy improving yourself that you have no time to criticise others.
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:
There are a number of so-called cognitive distortions that are relevant to the Inner Critic:
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.
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.
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.
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Moving from self-criticism to self-compassion
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