It’s okay to have self-criticism occasionally as it aids our development and teaches us vital things. However, when the voice is unhelpful, it can cause anxiety and undermine our self-esteem. It is necessary to learn to separate from it and restructure our thoughts. Our entire well-being is enhanced when we step back from our critical thinking and replace it with more constructive ideas. It is crucial to undo our default thought patterns and deliberately select more compassionate ones; this process requires patience and practice. Dealing with your inner critic is crucial because if you don’t, it could negatively impact your relationships, your ability to work, and everything else for a very long time. (Also read: Are you talking to yourself harshly? Here’s what it could do to you )
Popular, clinical psychologist, Amy Tran, in her recent Instagram post suggested 8 strategies to silence your inner critic so that you can try to amplify a kinder and more loving inner monologue that you deserve.
1. Practice self-awareness
Awareness is the first step in healing. You can not change what you do not understand. So practice paying attention to the thoughts that go through your mind. Create a word that you can say to yourself each time you notice self-criticism.
2. Give your critic a name
Detach yourself from your inner critic by giving it a name. Whenever they show up, separate yourself from them. You can even say something like “I don’t have time for you” or “Leave me alone.”
3. Access the evidence
If you think, “I’m never going to be enough for my partner”, examine the evidence that supports or denies this thought.
4. Reframe your thoughts
What we think influences how we feel and act so reframe your critical thoughts with compassionate and validating thoughts. For example, replace “I am such a failure” with “I can not be good at everything and there are other things I am good at.”
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
Comparison can be the thief of joy. Comparing yourself to others discounts all of the humanness, efforts, strengths and wins. You are also likely comparing your “inside” to their “outside.”
6. Practice self gratitude
Write down 1 thing every day that you are grateful for about yourself. Whether that’s how you treated a friend, how you treated yourself, how hard you tried, etc.
7. Identify self-criticism as a brain hiccup
Many of our self-limiting beliefs were Formed in the past and do not reflect our current reality. We are also hard-wired to assess and criticize ourselves because of our culture and society of competition, evaluation, and judgement. When you notice self-criticism-label it as a brain hiccup and allow it to pass.
8. Celebrate your wins
The inner critic rarely acknowledges your wins so highlight your wins-big or small. This helps build up inner power to counter your self-critical. Keep a “wins journal” and log down all the things that make you feel good. Review this journal on days when your inner critic is particularly loud.