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Challenging Self Criticism

Our mind is not always our friend, sometimes far from it. We all have an inner voice, and when we let this inner voice run riot, we might actually start believing we are failures, or nobody cares, that we are weak or stupid; huge untruths that harm us and can be totally disabling and stop us doing what we love or to live a good life.

Trying to stop this self-sabotage takes practice, but try it… regularly and catch your mind out when it’s not helping you.

We can try reframing the words we use with ourselves; 

  • I feel broken“… try … “I am growing and healing.”
  • I am a failure“… try … “I am learning new ways, and I do not need to be perfect; no one is.
  • I can’t do this“… try … “I can do hard things; I have done things before that felt impossible.
  • I hate feeling like this“… try … “It’s OK to feel, my feelings are valid, they’re there to tell me something.”
  • This is a £$%@$ day“… try … “today I feel thankful for….
  • I’m terrible at this“… try … “I can’t be great at everything, but I am trying, so I will improve, and that’s OK.”

Sometimes with these thoughts, we get stuck in a negative loop in our mind; it can help to practise things that increase our awareness, allowing us to just, even if it’s temporary, break this loop. 

  • You can try mindfulness to be in the present and to increase your awareness.
  • Question yourself; what are the things you can control and what things can you not control. Let go of what you can’t control and put your energy into the things you can.
  • Exercise; go for a walk, be outside – a change of scenery can disrupt our thoughts, give us a new perspective and can allow for some breathing space.
  • Ask yourself, “what can I learn from how I am feeling? Is this a learning opportunity?”.
  • Identify what triggers get you stuck in this loop. For example, if you are finding you are struggling with self-criticism every time you’ve been on social media, make a plan to limit how much time you spend. It might be that if you’re not well-rested enough, you struggle more… find out!
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