Do you have a voice in the back of your mind saying you’re ugly, you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy, etc.? It’s time to silence it. There’s a fine line between self-criticism and self-loathing, and you may not always realize that you’re on the wrong side. In this guide, we’ll show you how to stop being hard on yourself so you can find some self-love along the way.
Recognize Your Inner Critic
The first step in the process is recognizing your inner critic. Think of this as an entirely different person, someone who encompasses your worst thoughts and feelings. We all have a critic living inside us, but we don’t have to let them take control. When your mind starts racing with negative thoughts, think, “That’s my critic.” You might even give your critic a name to solidify the fact that it’s not you. “Ope, there’s Sheila again, making me feel bad.” Doing this will help you put aside the negative thoughts and help you move forward, away from criticism.
Don’t Act on Criticism Right away
Your inner critic may be strong or even forceful at times. Before you listen to that voice though, pause for a moment. Don’t take action right away. For instance, if your mind is telling you that you’re not good enough to date that guy, don’t immediately cancel the date. Give yourself time to regain your strength. Then you can make a sound decision.
Distract Yourself from Your Own Criticism
The voice in your head may still persist, even after you tell it to be quiet. In this case, you may need to distract yourself to get away from the criticism. You could use positive affirmations to drown out the voice. “I am beautiful. I am capable. I am smart. I am strong.” Repeat phrases like this over and over to get through the height of the criticism.
Alternatively, you could do a task that will get your mind off what’s going on. Clean a room you’ve been neglecting, or run an errand. Hang out with someone who makes you feel good about yourself. It’s hard to be hard on yourself when your mind is focused on something else.
Find the Source of the Criticism
Why are you being so hard on yourself? What triggered this thought pattern in your mind? Is it something you face regularly, or did a specific situation make you feel this way?
Understanding your personal triggers is an important step in self-esteem building, anxiety treatment, depression treatment, and other forms of mental health improvement. You may be more self-critical when you’re around someone you idolize. You may feel that way when you do a certain activity or spend too much time on social media. Identify the factors that go into your self-criticism, and then you’ll be better prepared for them.
You Don’t Have to Do This Alone
Fighting your inner critic can be challenging, especially if you’ve had that voice in your head for a while. Consider talking to a therapist about your experiences. In therapy, you can learn personalized strategies to overcome obstacles in your life. Find the root cause of your self-esteem issues, and reverse negative thoughts that contribute to them. The experienced therapists at Family Counseling Associates would be happy to help you.
When you call our office at (978) 222-3121, we will ask some simple questions to match you with a therapist. All of your therapy appointments will be confidential. Find a time that suits your schedule, and get valuable support you can count on. We look forward to working with you!