“My life is a disaster”-“I’m a failure”-“I look fat in this”-“I’m so stupid”– is your negative self-talk holding you back?
A little bit of self-criticism can be a good thing from time to time. It can be a positive self-evaluation that spurs you on to be a better person. However, there is a big difference between “I need to work out 4 times a week to tone up” and “I look like a big bag of jelly”! Which one sparks your motivation more?
According to Naomi Wolf “A Mother/Father who radiates self-love & self-acceptance actually vaccinates her/his daughter/son against low self-esteem”
Self-criticism, often backfires because it causes you to look at your failures, what’s not working instead of looking at small ways to improve or make change and makes steps for it to work for you. Long term studies have shown that the self-trash talk is associated with higher stress levels, lower self-esteem and depression. In fact, it will feel like you are NEVER good enough!
The good news is YOU CAN put a muzzle on that inner critic that sits on your shoulder!
It’s not always easy for those WHO DO genuinely love themselves, have inner confidence and high self-worth. People often judge them as being “up themselves” or push them to the side, avoid them, because their confidence makes people feel inferior or not good enough! Ever had that feeling? Is that really about the other person or is it just about you?
Learning to like then to love the person that you are is one of the most profound and important pieces of work that you can do for yourself. So why don’t more people make this a number 1 priority?
When you love yourself, you know what makes you happy, brings you joy and even love the things about yourself that you don’t really like, it becomes an incredible self-power! BUT when you criticise yourself, beat yourself up and say things to yourself that you would never say to another person, it slowly sabotages you and makes you feel unhappy, negative and not worthy of much. You become empty and it shows on the outside – people in touch with their EQ will notice!
So how do you stop that self-critic and start loving yourself?
- A good start is to treat yourself like a great friend. Do the same things you would do for a great friend
- Focus on the things you do like about yourself and acknowledge them out loud to yourself – however small, just start.
- Start making a list of all the things you notice you do like about yourself e.g. I can cook a great meal, I’m very loving, I have attractive hands, I have nice hair, I’m a good friend – every little thing
- Make a commitment to do 3 great, kind things for yourself each week – treat yourself with loving kindness. E.g. lie down and read a book to relax, book yourself a massage, pick flowers for you, be self-absorbed for an hour every weekend – do exactly what you want to do
- Give your inner critic a name preferably a silly one! E.g. The Gremlin, The Nag, The Hag, Betty. Whatever it is make sure that it gives a lighter slant on that nasty inner critic!
So, relax your standards just a little. Give yourself the same empathy you’d show a friend, it will be so much easier to take on The Gremlin, and win! Learning to accept/like/love who you are is one of the greatest things we can achieve. Make sure you complete the Self Compassion Programme in Open The Door Wellbeing app – great tips and tricks for greater self love!