We all do it.
We look in the mirror and don’t see perfection or start feeling jealous of what others accomplish and what they have. We feel insecure and sometimes unworthy of love because we aren’t the people we wish we were.
But being so focused on negative thoughts and things we often can’t change, we miss out on living a joyful life in the here and now.
So, how do you turn around the pattern of constantly criticising yourself so you can achieve greater happiness and enjoy the life you have right now?
Here, we’ve listed 5 easy steps for silencing your inner critic and thinking more positively about yourself and your life.
Let’s dive in.
The first step in silencing your inner critic is to recognize when you’re thinking negatively about yourself.
Often, it’s easy to get stuck in negative thought patterns. And just like any other unhealthy habit, the more you do it, the harder it is to stop.
So next time you find yourself looking in the mirror and focusing on what you don’t like about your appearance or when you start comparing yourself to other people you think are ‘better’ in some way, stop yourself.
Pause to recognize negative thoughts for what they are.
Next, identify what caused you to start thinking negatively or criticizing yourself.
Maybe you put a lot of effort into studying for an exam but didn’t get the grade you were hoping for. Perhaps someone made a comment that made you feel bad about yourself. It could even be something unrelated (like an argument or running late) that causes stress and leads to self-criticism.
If you’re going to quiet your inner critic, make a habit of knowing what events set you off and take action to prevent those negative thoughts from taking over.
Ultimately, our insecurities are born from fear. You might be afraid that you don’t have the skills and talent to achieve your goals or that someone won’t accept you because of how you look.
Whatever the case, here’s some good news: your fears and insecurities aren’t a reflection of reality most of the time.
It’s not likely that other people notice or care about any of the qualities you see as flaws. In fact, sometimes the things you don’t like about yourself are the same things other people love most about you!
Once you’ve taken the time to recognize self-criticism and why it happens, it’s time to clear your mind and make space for positive thinking.
There are several ways to create a clean slate to welcome positive thoughts:
Now that your mind is clear and you’ve decided not to let negative self-criticism have power over you, try focusing on the positive.
Whether it’s acknowledging things you like about your appearance, listing things or people you’re grateful for, or recognizing your skills and strengths, there are so many good things to focus on in your day-to-day existence.
Check out these Take2Minutes activities to help you relax and silence your inner critic: