Silencing Your Inner Critic: Strategies for Self-Acceptance
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I have a friend who has always been pretty critical of herself. No matter what she did, she never felt good enough. She always found something to criticize about herself, whether it was her appearance, her abilities, or her accomplishments. She was always striving to be perfect, and as a result, she never felt happy or content with herself.
She really wanted to be different…to stop beating herself up all the time but it wasn’t easy. She regularly slips into those nasty patterns of negative self-talk. But she was committed to keep trying.
She told me she found it helpful to think about her accomplishments and the all the things she was proud of. When the mean girl voice would creep back into her head, she did her best to shift gears back to these reminders.
Over time, it became easier for her but it’s really more of a marathon than a sprint. It requires dedication but knowing it can become easier is motivating.
As she found herself being kinder to herself, she found that kindness rippling out into the world. While she still struggles at times, she continues to work at it because she understands the value.
Quieting your critical inner voice is one of the wisest things you’ll ever do. When you apply this process, you’ll discover a happier existence along this journey we call life.
It’s me. I’m the friend. I don’t know if I’ll ever be perfect at this part of my life but I’m going to continue to work on it. If you have a mean girl in your head, I hope you’ll join me in telling her she can’t sit with us.
Here are a few helpful tips:
✓ Acknowledge that self-criticism can be damaging
✓ One by one, go through your criticisms and ask yourself, “Is this really valid?” If not, cross it off your list.
✓ Figure out when each criticism began. Take time to resolve why you feel that way.
✓ Release any negative remarks from your repertoire that stem from negative, early experiences because they simply hold no validity for you now
✓ Counter your critical voice. Designate your supportive, caring voice as the one in charge.
✓ Stay focused. You can challenge the validity of any criticism simply by continuing with your efforts to accomplish your desires.