Self-criticism is very common in our society. However, your inner critic is always neglected and unnoticed. Yet when you cope with it, your life will change dramatically. How can you do it?
“The pleasure of criticizing takes away from us the pleasure of being moved by some very fine things.” – Jean de La Bruyère
Recognize your Inner Critic
Can you notice the statements which are just blaming yourself? Here are some examples:
- “I’m stupid,”
- “I’m an idiot,”
- “I can’t get anything right,”
- “I’m not good enough to…”
These are not all the examples. And what is disastrous, these statements are easily used against other people, too. Therefore, it is very important to cope with inner criticism.
How to Cope with your Inner Critic
This is a good question and I will help you to find answers in this post. However, before you begin, be aware that this is not a magic pill which will solve all your problems at once. It is a process, which followed, will bring your crops.
1. Identify What your Inner Critic is Saying
Be aware that this thought process is separate from your real point of view and that your critical inner voice is not a reflection of reality. Instead, it is a viewpoint you adopted based on negative early life experiences and attitudes directed toward you and internalized as your point of view. When you make a mistake, you will probably notice your inner critic.
Write down some of your critic voices. Pay attention to them while doing this task. Choose five critical statements in the second person
For example: “You are an idiot”, “You are stupid”. Then you see that these thoughts are an alien point of view and not true statements. Remember to notice how hostile this internal enemy can be. Take the examples of self-criticism which you have written above and change them into “you” statements:
2. Question the Self-Critical Statements
Make an effort to keep yourself in check when your inner critic gets into a shouting match with reason, and self-doubt begins to bubble over reality. Here is how you can question some of your critical statements:
- What’s the worst thing that could happen?
- How likely is that to happen?
- Will this matter in five years’ time?
- Is this situation as bad as I’m making it out to be?
- What is the evidence for that critical statement?
Choose one of the critical statements which you have written down a minute ago and answer the questions listed above.
3. Write Down the More Realistic and Compassionate Evaluation of Yourself
This time uses the “I” statements. Let’s say that your critical statement is “You’re such an idiot,” One of the empowering statements may be: “I may struggle at times, but I am smart and competent in many ways (you can mention when exactly)”.
Write down the empowering statements for your self-critical ones. Use a diary, not just a piece of paper, so you can notice the differences after some time, looking at your notes. Also, by writing you will reprogram your subconscious mind to create more positive thoughts about yourself.
4. Never Act on the Directives of your Inner Critic
Instead, manifest the empowering statements in your life. For example in the case of “I might not be good at Maths, but I am excellent as a writer” become a journalist, write a book or start a blog. Your critical inner voice may become louder, telling you not to take chances or stay in line. You will grow stronger by identifying, separating from, and acting against this destructive thought process.
For the next 7 days, rewrite the positive statements, the alternatives to your critical words or thoughts in your diary, every 3 times. In this way, you will reprogram your subconscious mind and start treating yourself and others with bigger respect which will improve your relationships and your own performance.
Summing up. It is possible to stop criticizing yourself. You just need some discipline and determination to achieve this goal. Create a new habit to find alternatives for any critical thoughts and words. You also need to change the beliefs which generate self-criticism, e.g I’m not good enough. You can do it reading my posts about beliefs and doing the exercises described here.
And last but not least…
Share your conclusions with others who will read this blog, as maybe you will help someone to avoid mistakes and become a happy person. Thank you.