How To Stop Beating Yourself Up
When was the last time you heard from your inner critic? You know, that voice in your head that constantly judges you, puts you down, and compares you to others. The one that tells you you’re not good enough or smart enough and says things you would never dream of saying to another person.
Now you may think this inner critic, while annoying, is relatively harmless. You might even think it’s your best motivator. But this is simply not the case – we cannot be our best when berated with negativity, cruelty, and condescension.
Here are some ways you can silence that inner critic and stop beating yourself up.
- Give it Attention
Most of our thinking is automatic. In other words, we don’t give our thoughts much thought. So, in order to gain control over your inner critic you first have to get to know it and be really familiar with how it shows up.
Here are some emotional clues the critic has reared its ugly head: whenever you feel doubt, guilt, shame, and worthlessness. These are almost always signs of the critic at work.
- Separate Yourself from Your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is like a parasite, feeding off you. You were not born to think this way, you were taught to think this way – we all were. And over time the inner critic has become such a part of you that you think ITS thoughts are your own.
You have to separate yourself from this parasite. One way to do that is to give your critic a name. Have fun with this naming. You could call your inner critic anything from “Todd” to “Miss. Annoying Loudmouth.” What do they look like? What are some of their favorite moments to get nasty about?
Separating yourself from you inner critic will give you the strength and perspective to control this voice and separate it from your authentic self.
- Talk Back
In order to take the power away from your inner critic, you’ve got to give it a taste of its own medicine. As soon as you recognize your inner critic is speaking to you, acknowledge it’s desire to protect you, but tell it that you’ve got it covered and are not looking for its opinion. Tell it that the jig is up and that you want it to go away. If you want to really make this voice recoil, tell it you are choosing to be kind to yourself from now on.
Self-compassion to an inner critic is like garlic to a vampire.
- Create a New Inner Voice
If you want to defeat an enemy, you need to have a powerful ally on your side. It’s important at this juncture to create an even more powerful inner voice. One that is on your side and acts as your BFF.
To create this new voice, start noticing the good things about yourself. No matter what that nasty critic said about you, the truth is you have fantastic traits and abilities. Start focusing on those. Yes, it will be hard at first to let yourself see you in a positive light, but the more you do it, the easier it will get.
Life is short. To have the most fulfilling one possible, we have to stop wasting time on beating ourselves up. Take these 4 steps and learn to quiet that inner critic. Your best you is waiting to be celebrated.
Some people’s inner critic is stronger than others. Sometimes the greatest ally you can have in your corner is an impartial third party, a therapist who can see you for who you really are.
If you or a loved one could use some help defeating your inner critic and would like to explore therapy, get in touch with me. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.