Most people don’t go around criticizing other people, but they have no qualms about being super critical to themselves. Being like this can be damaging to your self-esteem and make life harder to deal with.
By learning to be gentler on yourself, you will experience more confidence and feel better about yourself in general. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a commonly used form of treatment for people who want to be less critical of themselves.
The technique involves purposefully changing your behaviors surrounding the issue so that you can approach things in a different way. You can practice CBT on your own, but if it doesn’t seem to be working, make an appointment with a mental health professional to get some help mastering it.
In the meantime, here are some things you can do to silence that little voice in your head that won’t leave you alone.
Stop Saying “Can’t”
Whether you’re telling yourself you can’t lose weight, get a new job or fix a broken relationship, that one word can really derail you. Thinking that you can’t do something that you really want to do can kill your self-esteem and get in the way of trying to do something that could make you happy. Experts recommend changing that “can’t” to “can.” Of course, that’s easier said than done, but you can do it over time with practice and diligence.
Start saying that losing weight is easy or having a tough conversation will be a breeze. Whether or not that’s really true, simply saying it can trick your brain into thinking that you can get it done without any problem. This will take lots of practice, but stick with it and you might find yourself feeling better about yourself and your abilities in no time at all.
Whether you lost the race to be PTA president or your best friend always kicks it into high gear when you’re at the gym and you can’t keep up, chances are that you feel bad about yourself and may be spending some time being critical toward yourself.
Rather than dwelling on why or how you aren’t at the same level as someone else, be logical about why that might be. Maybe another mom has more experience in a leadership role or your best friend has been exercising for years longer than you have.
Think about how you would talk to someone else who was being down on themselves. That’s how you should be speaking to your inner critic. Again, this won’t be easy and definitely won’t happen overnight, but with time you will get better at it and will start feeling better about yourself.
When you get down on yourself, it can be hard to feel good about reaching goals. In fact, it could make you think you could never reach that goal anyway, so there’s really no point in even trying. If that’s how you feel, you need to develop ways to motivate yourself. This will make you feel good and give you the get up and go you need to reach for your goals and take the steps necessary to attain them.
Think back to times when you reached a goal and what things helped you get there. Chances are there was at least one person motivating you and giving you the motivation to do what needed to be done. Whatever motivated you before could work again, so try using that technique on yourself, and you might start feeling better about your skills and believing in yourself again.
If you can’t think of anything that has motivated you in the past, talk to friends and family members and find out what motivates them. With an arsenal of ways to motivate yourself, you will begin the journey to silencing that inner critic that lives inside you.
Try Something New
Many people avoid new things because they worry about making a fool of themselves or think they don’t have the skills needed to do something they’ve never tried before. However, experts say that moving outside your comfort zone can really make you feel great about yourself.
Whether you take an ethnic cooking class or learn to dance salsa, finding out that you can actually do that is incredibly motivating and can really silence the voice telling you that you aren’t good enough. Other great ideas include pottery classes, learning a foreign language or taking a vacation on your own. Once you realize how powerful and capable you are, you will be better able to tell the voice inside your head to keep it quiet.
Take Care Of Yourself
Anyone will tell you that being stretched too thin is stressful and will wear you out in a heartbeat. In the same way that you take care of the people who are important to you, so too you should be taking care of yourself.
It’s easier to be down on yourself when you’re so tired that you mess up at work or snap at your kids. Making sure you are well-cared for can help you feel better about yourself, because you’ll be able to focus and get things done, enhancing your talents and abilities.
Build time for yourself into your daily schedule and in no time at all, you’ll start to benefit from having that “me” time. Yoga, a hot bath at the end of the day, a break from the kids to eat dinner alone or with your partner, a walk around the block or a few minutes listening to your favorite music are all great ways to take care of yourself and be the best that you can be.
Write It Down
Have you ever written a heartfelt message to someone you’re thankful to or proud of? There’s no doubt that doing so can help a person feel appreciated and proud of their capabilities. The same thing can be true for you as well.
Write down the things you’re good at and the qualities about yourself that you are proud of. The simple act of writing the items down can really help boost your self-esteem and keep you from criticizing yourself.
At the same time, anytime you feel down on yourself or are having a rough time silencing your inner critic, you can pull out your list and read through it again to remind yourself why you’re so great.
Silencing that inner critic won’t be easy, and it will take some time and effort, so keep at it and continue practicing until you have it down so well that you never listen to your inner critic and always say only nice things to yourself and about yourself.
You will love how this totally changes your life and turns it into one that is high in quality and that makes you into the person you were meant to be. You will never regret the time you put into being the best you can be.