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THE #BODYMINDSHAPE BLOG

THE #BODYMINDSHAPE BLOG

by Solveig

How To Overcome Self-Criticism

SELF-CRITICISM DOES NOT SUPPORT YOU

Negatively analyzing and judging yourself and your actions – does this sound any familiar to you?

“Yep, been there, done that.” Or to be honest:

“Yep, been there, done that, and keep on falling back without even noticing it.”

Yepsie, that’s the case for a lot of us.

And we are not talking about reflecting ourselves in an analytical way and positively evaluating what we could be doing better. No, we are talking about that kind of self-criticism that is totally destructive, that does not help you to get better, but to rather crawl back into your rabbit hole, thinking we are not good enough to reach our goals or our desired status quo.

Self-criticism is rooted in fear and doesn’t support us in taking positive actions that are good for your emotional health. BUT how can we let go of this negative habit of always criticizing ourselves?

HOW TO HANDLE SELF-CRITICISM

Here are a few DO’s and DONT’s that you can follow to bring yourself into a more self-supporting mood:

DON'T

Try to be perfect

Yep, we all strive to do our best possible, but striving for perfection is the straight way into dissatisfaction – let go of the need to be perfect. You don’t need to. You can’t be perfect. Nobody can. Nobody can be. You may not see it from the outside, but really – nobody is. So aren’t you. Let go of it.

 

Compare yourself to others

Everybody around you has a better life than you? More skills? The better looks? The more solid work-life-balance?

It is natural to orient yourself on the people that already are at the point where you want to go but this can be a toxic trap. Especially when it comes to Social Media, all those perfect shots that people chose to show to the world, are being rubbed underneath our nose, and we automatically compare ourselves – which will again be the straight non-stop train into unhappiness, feeling unworthy, powerless and less confident.

 

Set unrealistic goals

Setting goals is nice and necessary – but not if you set them too high. You will most likely not achieve them, which will leave you frustrated, disappointed with yourself and you will find yourself in a loop of thinking that you once again failed.

DO

Notice the thought

The most important step of distancing yourself from criticizing yourself is to notice that you are, because often we don’t recognize the thought as an actual critic and just assume that we are being totally objective and fair on yourselves- joke of the day! So, notice it, identify it, and let it go.

 

Tune into kindness

When you find yourself struck in the self-criticism trap, try to take a step back and soften that hard thought you are holding on to right now. When you once again think “I’ve failed”, ask yourself if that thought is really true. Because thoughts are not always telling the truth and your mind might be messing around with reality right now.

 

Focus on your strength

The Self-Criticism trap is tricky, sticky, and will always bounce you back to it when the criticized points stay your truth. What we can do, to dim that negative mind fog, is to focus more on to our strengths, to make them so present that we identify ourselves more with those positive aspects then with what we are lacking.

 

Practice Self-Acceptance

Take a look at the overall picture of yourself and actively practice Self-Acceptance. Make a list in your mind of all the things that are good about you, write it down, and let yourself tune further into that Self-Acceptance by practicing more and more.  The more space you give it, the less you will see the Self-Criticism taking power over you.

CONSISTENCY, PRACTICE AND PATIENCE WILL GET YOU THERE

At the end of the day, if we want to change our thinking, we have to show up with major consistency. Being self-critical mostly happens on a subconscious level and to change this, you need to give your mind and body the space to reprogram itself – we need to develop such strong new beliefs that the old non supportive ones are less present and eventually will diminish.

But this takes time. So be patient with yourself, keep on observing the mind, and keep on practicing.  

Tune into this Inner Critic Meditation to boost the process.

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