Here are 5 steps to stop criticizing yourself. We’ve all heard her — that mean, inner voice that speaks up whenever we’ve made a mistake or something didn’t turn out as we planned it. Sometimes, your critical inner voice (I call her the Confidence Assassin or CA,) tells you what you should have done but failed to do. Other times, she reminds you of something you did that you should have avoided. If she’s so smart, why is she a figment of your imagination!? I want to inspire you to stop criticizing yourself. Leave that foolish work to others and become your best and strongest cheerleader.
Whenever you have a continuing inner dialogue or conversation with yourself about how you’re falling short in an area of your life, your self-criticism is racing right along, egging your Confidence Assassin on. ~ Allegra Sinclair
How can you quiet that voice before she destroys your self-esteem and confidence? Say it all together class, Punch it in the Throat.
Here is how to stop criticizing yourself:
- Analyze the self-criticisms and smack ’em down. Point by point, what is your inner voice saying? Write it down so you can look at what you feel you’re doing wrong. Once it’s written down, some of them are going to immediately look suspect. One by one, go through the points and ask yourself, “Is this really valid?” If so highlight it and make a plan to correct it. If not, cross it off your list so you can start rejecting that thought if it comes up again. Actually say, “I reject that” or “Cancel!” when the false self-criticism pops into your head. Don’t let your inner voice keep repeating these lies! They’re untrue. Take an active stance to discard them. Do you remember the show, La Femme Nikita? I’m referring to the one with Peta Wilson, not the new version that I could never get into. There was so much power in the word, cancel. Apply that to your self-criticism.
- Figure out when the criticisms began. For example, if your Confidence Assassin keeps saying, “You’ll never be successful at anything,” take time to figure out why you feel that way. If you keep saying it, it is coming from somewhere. We all have occasional self-critical thoughts, but the persistent ones need to be put under the microscope. You’ll likely discover a time when someone whose opinion matters to you was overly critical of you. Unfortunately, people can devastate the self-esteem of others when they use negative, accusatory, or demeaning words to evaluate or judge your life. Have you really ‘always’ done something or have you recently started singing that song because someone spoke that lie into your life? It makes a difference.
- Acknowledge that self-criticism can be damaging. If you continue to repeat the negative statements, it can be crippling to you and even block your ability to create the life you deserve. Realize that no one can function well when being told constantly that she cannot persevere and rise above her challenges. If you have been talking this way to yourself, how is that working out? What kind of results are you getting right now? To get new results, you need to do a new thing. Running yourself down emotionally isn’t the answer to any positive question.
- Drown the negative voice out. If you are so busy filling your mind and future with positive thoughts, theme music, big goals and dreams, etc. you won’t be able to hear the Confidence Assassin when she starts whispering. CAs and all unfounded fears are cowards. They don’t show up, stand in front of you and shout, they whisper from the sidelines, like cowards do, until they get your attention and distract your focus. Don’t give them the time of day. If you don’t leave any room for this type of negativity, she will have to find somewhere else to play. If you withhold food and light from a plant what happens? That’s right, death. Let’s commit manslaughter on our Confidence Assassin. Negative self-criticism won’t have any power over you when she is busy trying to get your attention with her whispering and you have all the truths you know about yourself turned up to Volume 10. Release who you really are by omitting this negativity from your life.
- Put your inner ninja in charge. Instead of thinking, “I won’t be good at swimming,” think, “This is a good opportunity for me to work on learning something new.” That is how ninjas think, speak, and behave. I can’t think of one movie, book, etc. where the ninja talked herself out of trying something new. Think about Jennifer Garner from the show, Alias. She could hardly have been such a butt-kicking super-agenty spy-tacular ninja if she had let her inner CA rule her life. It’s a decision which voice to listen to. So put your inner ninja in charge of your self-evaluation and lean into the more encouraging part of you that speaks positively. Don’t wait for someone else to show up and point out your strengths, you can learn to be your own cheerleader.
Quieting your critical inner voice is one of the wisest things you’ll ever do. When you apply this 5-step process, you’ll uncover a more powerful, energized, high-achieving life along with an increased ability to silence criticism when it comes from outside your own head. Go ahead and get started now! You deserve it.