Let’s face it, the world is a critical place. Television shows’ “humor” is based on personal attacks and put-downs. Most reality television is based on people being rejected on every level from love to singing talent. Even in our homes and workplaces, the ratio of negative feedback we receive from others (and give to others) to positive feedback is incredibly disproportionate.
As if it’s not bad enough that the world often beats us down, we have to do it to ourselves too.
The biggest critic most of us face in our lives is ourselves– that little voice inside our heads that tells us we’re not good enough, smart enough, talented enough, don’t make enough money, aren’t worthy, etc.
It’s time to stop being your own worst critic!
Here are some tips for quieting that critical voice inside your own head.
1. Focus on the facts, not exaggerated interpretations or evaluations. Instead of thinking, “I’m an idiot for doing X,” instead think, “I made a mistake, I’ve learned from it, and I’m moving on.”
2. Start focusing more attention on your positive traits and attributes and stop dwelling on your flaws and shortcomings.
3. Give yourself positive feedback. When things go well, tell yourself, even if you just think it, “I really handled that well.”
4. Start taking care of yourself physically. When you’re well rested, well nourished, and are getting enough sleep and exercise, you’ll be kinder to yourself… and to others too!
5. Be willing to make mistakes and to see them as the learning opportunities they are, instead of turning them into disasters. Not keeping mistakes in perspective can keep you from moving forward and is likely to trigger negative self talk.
One final bonus tip- Start “speaking” to yourself as you would a dear friend or valued colleague. If you wouldn’t call that person names or criticize him or her harshly, then don’t do it to yourself either.