All Women's Talk

8 Techniques to Stop Self-Criticism ...

By Alison

Beating self-criticism is a challenge, but one that is well worth taking on. We are frequently so critical of ourselves in a way that we wouldn´t dream of with others. It´s difficult to know how to stop self-criticism though, as we have often been taught that it is arrogant to be pleased with our achievements, and absorb the message that we are not good enough. So here are some techniques to show you how to stop self-criticism.

1 Would You Speak to a Friend This Way?

One technique for beating self-criticism is to ask yourself if you would speak to a friend in the same way that you criticise yourself. The answer is almost certainly that you wouldn´t dream of it! If you were that critical of others, you wouldn´t have any friends! So be a friend to yourself and stop judging yourself so harshly.

2 Self-Fulfilling

A sure way to make things happen is to tell yourself that they will. We convince ourselves that we are not pretty enough, that we don´t have the brains to pass exams, the skills to get a great job … and on and on. The more you tell yourself that, the more you believe it – and you won´t even try to achieve anything because you believe your own messages. So STOP giving yourself negative messages and start to believe that you CAN achieve things!

3 Own Worst Enemies

We really are our own worst enemies, and often nobody can be as critical of us as we are of ourselves. If you want to bring an end to the self-criticism habit that can be so deeply ingrained, ask yourself why you are so hard on yourself. It´s time to stop, and be a friend to yourself instead.

4 Be Positive

Have you ever responded to a compliment with a comment like ´Oh, it was nothing´ or ´Anyone could have done it,´? Well, anyone didn´t do it – you did! Be positive about your achievements, and look for things you´ve done that you are (or should be) pleased about.

5 To Err is Human

Most of us have a terrible habit of criticising ourselves endlessly for mistakes we made in the past. This is pointless, as we cannot do anything to change what has already happened. Instead, accept that we all make mistakes, and it actually has the benefit of providing the opportunity to learn.

6 Achieves Nothing

One of the techniques that can show you how to stop self-criticism is being aware that it gets you nowhere. In fact, it often makes you feel a lot worse about yourself. It´s totally pointless. Don´t waste your energy putting yourself down; focus instead on making yourself feel good.

7 What Can I Change?

Instead of criticising yourself, identify what you are unhappy with and ask yourself what you can do about it. Do you hate your job? Look for another one, and gain more skills if necessary. Unhappy with your weight? Work out a sensible weight loss and exercise programme. Take positive steps for improvement instead of endlessly hating things about yourself.

8 Stop Comparisons

My final tip on beating self-criticism is to stop comparing yourself to other people. Whether it´s your colleagues who are earning more, your sister who has a lovely house, or celebrities who seem to have the perfect life, comparisons are pointless. You are not them, they are not you, and how do you know for sure that their lives are so wonderful? Concentrate on your own life and self-esteem instead.

Beating self-criticism can be done, although it takes some work to undo the years negative messages we give ourselves. A degree of self-analysis is healthy, and the person who thinks they never make a mistake is probably very arrogant. However, being too harsh on yourself leads to a cycle where you increasingly believe what you are telling yourself. Have you been prone to this kind of pattern, and have you any other tips on how to stop self-criticism?

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