Stand Up To Your Inner Critic
Your mind is a busy place. Random thoughts keep chasing each other in constant circles. Most of this inner
chatter is unconscious and happens without any prompting or awareness on your part.
Try taking a step back to observe what form these ruminations are taking. If you're like most people, you might be shocked at how self-critical many of these thoughts can be. Some of the thoughts come across as harsh judgments: "How could I do that?", "I'm so stupid!", "I can't believe I did that again!" So much of what the inner critic has to say is irrational and even absurd. You probably would never speak to a friend or a child in this manner.
Reflect on how you developed this tendency to be so critical of yourself. Are you perhaps internalizing the words of a disapproving parent, a strict teacher or a demanding boss? Like thirsty sponges, we so easily soak up the criticisms and expectations of others throughout our lives and make them our own.
We are also highly capable of manufacturing our own self-criticisms. Observe the use of the word "should" in your vocabulary. This loaded word is a form of self-judgment and reflects the concept of never being or doing enough.
Call upon your "inner nurturer" as an ally for support. In the same way that negativity from others can affect and influence your thoughts, you can bring to mind the kind, loving and supportive things people have said to you. Talk to your inner self in a kind and gentle tone. Be on your own side. Use positive affirmations like "I can do this" or "I am strong and resilient".
Try giving your inner critic a humorous nickname and call it out. Challenge it and let it know that you are aware of its tricks and lies.
Attempt to see yourself through the eyes of your friends and loved ones. Recognize your own basic goodness in the same way that those closest to you see you.
Even though you are not perfect, you are good enough!
(I highly recommend Kristin Neff's Self Compassion Test to learn ways of being kinder to yourself): Self-Compassion (self-compassion.org)