A little self-criticism is a good thing. It can encourage you to be the best version of “you” possible. But there is a vast difference between “I need to work out more,” which sparks your motivation, and “I’m a bouncing blob,” which brings you down.
Too much self-criticism can backfire because it leads you to focus on your so-called failures instead of the small ways you can improve – or the things you already do well. And research shows that trash talking yourself can lead to higher stress levels, increased anxiety levels and a poor sense of well-being.
The good news? There are ways to muzzle that inner critic! Try out these suggestions to take back your happy and embrace all that is really “you”:
Turn down the volume, and slow down. When self-criticism takes over, try slowing down your thoughts and asking yourself, “Is this true most of the time?” This simple question can often silence, or at least temporarily calm, your inner critic. Many times, your inner critic projects fear into a situation, rather than projecting reality. Simply pausing to ask, “What is true in this situation?” is the first step in retraining your thoughts and encouraging positive self-talk.
Ignore the crowd. One of your inner critic’s greatest strengths is the ability to make you believe you have an audience to please. But don’t base your thoughts and decisions off what others might think about you. Use only your own standards to measure your life, actions and intentions. Confidence, growth and self-esteem should be independent of other’s opinions.
Make cuts. Your inner critic loves to use others to keep you down, so identify and say goodbye to individuals or groups of people who feed your negative self-talk. You know the ones – they reinforce negative messages about yourself. Make the cut because you deserve to have an A-team on your side. Find and invest in people who make you feel good about yourself.
Treat yourself like you would your best friend. You’re intentional about building others up and choosing your words carefully, so why not do the same for yourself? When your inner critic speaks up, consider what you would tell a friend in the same situation. Talk to yourself like you would your best friend because you deserve nothing less!
Looking for additional ideas to silence your inner critic? Check out these helpful tips.