How to Stop Criticising yourself?Manage your life

May 22, 2024 20:04
How to Stop Criticising yourself?

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Whether you agree or not, most of us fear the judgment of others. Yes, of course there are those who have the courage to make a cheeky comeback. But do you also feel threatened by your inner critic, who paralyzes you by telling you that you are not good enough? You're going about your day, doing what you're supposed to do, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, it hits you. "I could have done better.""Why did you say, 'You're not smart enough, you're not pretty enough, you're not talented enough?'

Similar looking?

This voice is not your friend. It is not there to help you grow or improve.

And the worst? We tend to listen more than we should.

So how can we silence it and find peace again?

To do this, we need to understand the causes of negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk can result from a variety of factors, including past experiences, learned behaviors, low self-esteem, mental illness, and external influences such as social standards and criticism from others.

Past experiences: Traumatic events and negative experiences from childhood and early life can shape a person's self-perception and lead to negative self-criticism.

Learned Behavior: People who grew up in an environment where self-criticism is common or who are surrounded by people who talk negatively to themselves tend to adopt similar patterns of thinking and behavior.

Low self-esteem: People with low self-esteem may use negative self-talk to confirm their beliefs about themselves. They may focus on their perceived shortcomings or errors and interpret events in a way that reinforces their negative view.

Mental illness: Conditions such as depression, anxiety, and perfectionism can contribute to negative self-talk. These situations can distort our self-image and lead to harsh self-evaluation.

External Influences: Criticism from others, both real and perceived, can increase negative self-talk. Messages from society, media, and relationships that emphasize unrealistic standards and expectations can also contribute to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

Cognitive biases: Certain thought patterns such as black-and-white thinking, overgeneralization, and catastrophizing can distort our perception of ourselves and the world and lead to negative criticism.

Self-criticism and negative self-talk are damaging to your mind and body. Ethan Cross, author of "Chatter: The Voice in Our Heads, Why It Matters, and How to Control It," says negative self-talk disrupts thinking and performance, puts a strain on relationships, and even warns that it has a negative impact on the can affect physical health.

Some mental health experts have found that negative self-talk can lead to stress, which can lead to sleep problems and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

It damages your self-confidence: Negative self-talk destroys your self-confidence and makes you doubt your own abilities and worth. It acts like a constant critic, highlighting our flaws and belittling our strengths.

Impairs Decision Making: Constant mental punishment impairs your judgment and ability to make decisions. We hesitate and postpone every decision we make for fear of failure or ridicule.

Limits our potential: Negative self-talk creates mental barriers that limit our potential. This makes us believe that we are incapable or unable to pursue our goals and dreams, which prevents us from reaching our full potential.

Effects on Relationships: Constant self-criticism can impact your interactions with others and put a strain on your relationships. This makes them more sensitive to humiliation and criticism from others and leads to conflicts and misunderstandings.

Physical Health Effects: Stress and anxiety caused by negative self-talk can have a negative impact on your physical health. It weakens the body's immune system, disrupts sleep patterns and causes a variety of health problems such as headaches, digestive problems and even cardiovascular problems.

Promotes perfectionism: Negative self-talk often stems from the desire for perfection. We place unimaginably high demands on ourselves and inevitably blame ourselves. This perfectionist mindset creates a cycle of self-criticism and dissatisfaction.

Suppresses personal growth: Adopting a growth mindset is essential for personal growth and development, but negative self-talk suppresses this mindset. Instead of viewing setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, we view failures as confirmation of our inadequacy and an obstacle to personal development.

How should I handle it?

Don't think of it as a problem. It's a habit that takes time to break, but if you follow a few steps you'll be fine.

Awareness is the key: First, awareness is the key. You have to tap into your inner critic. So be careful with your triggers. Maybe it's time to try something new or step out of your comfort zone.

Once you understand that, it's time to challenge that negative thought. Ask yourself, "Is this criticism really true, or am I just being too hard on myself?" Spoiler alert: It's usually the latter. We tend to magnify our weaknesses and downplay our strengths.

Pursue what appeals to your inner critic. Think about the situation, what your inner critic is telling you, how it is affecting you emotionally, and how you will react. After a few weeks, you'll have a clear list of triggers and a better understanding of how to deal with them. This process may seem difficult and your inner critic may try to talk you out of it.

Distance: Do you know what imposter syndrome is? This can also be the result of negative self-talk and self-criticism.

Montreal executive coach Jane Reichman Van Tock (Reader's Digest January 2023 issue) advises her clients to redefine negative thinking and step away from self-criticism. For example, it may be helpful to switch from "I'm a terrible mother" to "I'm doing my best" or to speak to yourself in the third person. He helps his clients objectively assess their qualifications and ultimately decide whether they are suitable for their role.

Look at yourself: The support of professional coaches, partners, friends and family can be invaluable in overcoming negative self-talk.

Seeking advice from experts or supportive people, literature or podcasts can provide a much-needed confidence boost.

Additionally, research shows that feeling awe distracts our inner critics because it connects us to a wider range of emotions beyond our own concerns. Whether it's a quiet drive, enjoying live music, or pursuing a loved one's passion, cultivating moments of reverence can positively change our thinking.

Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would treat your 8-year-old. Accept the fact that you are only human and do the best you can with what you have. Self-flagellation serves no other purpose than to make you feel angry and ugly.

Change the way you talk to yourself: replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Instead of saying, "I can't do this," try saying, "It might be hard for me, but I'll do my best." It might seem scary at first, but trust me, it works.

Question your thoughts: Just because you think something isn't true. As your inner critic continues to criticize, ask yourself, "Is this thought worth it?" Is that a fact or does it speak to my insecurities?” You'll probably find it's the latter.

So let the fear of judgment take a backseat as you accelerate your journey to self-discovery and acceptance. Because if you unabashedly accept your truth, you become the director of your own story.

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Self Criticism  Self Criticising