Let’s beat your inner critic once and for all and become your own best friend.
I know we’ve all been there.
You messed up and you’ve spent entirely way too long beating yourself up about it. You’ve spent hours, days, or weeks, thinking of ways you could have handled it better and making yourself feel bad or guilty about it.
And if you really think about it, did that really serve you? Are you better off because you were hard on yourself?
We all have an inner dialogue that runs constantly in our minds but if yours leans to the negative side, it’s time to work on flipping that to a more self-compassionate voice.
One where you can acknowledge you made a mistake, accept it as a learning opportunity then move on.
Because the way we talk to ourselves can significantly impact our self-esteem, confidence, and overall mental health.
After all, you spend the most time with yourself, every second of every day for your entire life to be exact.
You will literally never spend more time with anyone else so to live a happy and fulfilling life, you have to like yourself.
In the wise words of Brene Brown, talk to yourself like someone you love.
Talk to yourself like you would your best friend, your significant other, your pet.
Learning to communicate with yourself as you would with someone you love is a powerful practice that can transform your relationship with yourself.
People are typically way nicer to their loved ones than they are to themselves and this has got to change. If you start taking the steps toward speaking more kindly to yourself amazing things are going to happen for you.
It’ll give you the courage to try new things, get outside your comfort zone, and mess up which is the key to growth.
But if your automatic response is currently negative, this change won’t happen overnight and that’s okay. It’s a habit that you have to beat after all.
It’s actually the point because you’re never going to be perfect on the first go around so you might as well get used to messing up.
It’s Time to Tame Your Inner Critic
Now just like any critic, it’s never going to completely go away but there are tactics to silence that inner critic in a way where it isn’t going to consume your life or hold you back anymore.
The inner critic is that mean voice inside your head that often amplifies self-doubt and negativity.
And as introverts, we spend a lot of time inside our own heads so if your inner critic is there most of the time, that isn’t going to be good for your confidence.
But by recognizing this internal dialogue and challenging its validity, you’ll be able to silence that inner critic in no time.
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Because silencing that inner critic of yours is how you’re going to be able to talk to yourself like someone you love.
But I get it. Getting rid of your inner critic is no easy feat. It’s something that has to be constantly worked on, unfortunately.
I feel it ebbs and flows depending on what is going on but remember, you aren’t responsible for your first thought or reaction.
But you are responsible for your second.
So having the tools to turn away from that negative second thought is crucial if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Below are ways to talk to yourself like someone you love.
Start by bringing Self-Awareness to how you currently speak to yourself
We can’t change what we don’t know, right? This is where self-awareness comes into play.
Developing self-awareness is crucial for understanding your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
So for the rest of the week, pay attention to the thoughts that are running through your head and ask yourself if they are mostly positive or negative.
Pay close attention to the way you talk to yourself, especially during challenging moments.
Recognize when you’re being overly harsh or judgmental, and make a mental note about these thoughts.
Then move into Self-Compassion
After you’re aware of how you’re speaking to yourself, it is time to reframe those thoughts and your inner dialogue.
But to do that, you need to have some self-compassion for yourself.
Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness, love, and understanding that you would offer to a dear friend.
Instead of harsh self-criticism, replace negative self-talk with gentle, supportive language. For example, if you make a mistake, acknowledge it without beating yourself up. Say, “It’s okay, everyone makes mistakes. What can I learn from this?”
And I’m not supporting toxic positivity because you’ve gotta feel your feelings so remember that you don’t necessarily have to be positive to treat yourself with self-compassion.
The example above isn’t saying that things are fine and dandy but it is treating yourself with support and kindness rather than scolding yourself for making a mistake.
We’re not looking to suppress anything here because I’m sure you know it’s going to come out one way or another. We’re all going to have our bad days and that’s okay but using positive self-talk and having compassion for yourself is going to make a difference in getting back up and trying again.
If you come from a place of love and understanding, it’ll give you the confidence to go outside your comfort zone again and make a mistake which is crucial to experience a life you’re obsessed with.
So acknowledge your feelings and the fact that you messed up but then accept the things you cannot change.
That’s how you beat your inner critic.
Don’t Forget to Forgive Yourself, You’re Human
A part of self-compassion is forgiving yourself.
Instead of saying that you’re a terrible person, things won’t get better or you’ll never be good at anything oftentimes leading to a spiral of negativity, forgive yourself.
We’re all imperfect, and making mistakes is an inherent part of being human. It’s going to happen, if it doesn’t that means you aren’t learning and growing.
There are going to be times when others are upset with you or you did something that you aren’t necessarily proud of but you can’t change that and beating yourself up won’t change that.
The only thing you can do is be better in the future but to do that you have to get back up and be willing to fail again which is a heck of a lot easier if you forgive yourself and give yourself some compassion.
Instead of dwelling on your shortcomings, practice forgiveness. Remind yourself that making mistakes doesn’t define your worth.
Rather when you slip up, say, “I forgive myself. I am learning and growing from this experience.”
We need to stop tying failure to our worth because failing is something that happens to everyone.
Things are not going to go to plan. You’re going to have to pivot. You’re going to change your mind and this is all okay.
But you have to be nice to yourself. We say things to ourselves that we would never say to others, sometimes not even to people we don’t like that much.
So why do we think it is okay to say it to ourselves? You’re the most important person in your life and you’re pretty awesome. Remember that.
Being kind to yourself means treating yourself with the same warmth and care you would give to a loved one. When you’re facing difficulties or feeling down, offer yourself words of comfort and encouragement.
Take a step back and ask yourself what you would say to your best friend or partner in that situation. How can you treat yourself with the same kindness and respect?
Because the world could use more kindness and compassion and that starts with you.
What it all comes down to is loving yourself. Just like you love others even though they aren’t perfect.
Just think about all the times the people you love messed up and you love them anyway. It’s time to treat yourself the same way.
You’re never going to be perfect, you’re going to mess up, and you aren’t going to feel positive every day and that’s okay. It’s all part of this journey we call life.
Cultivating self-love is a lifelong journey that requires consistent practice. Treat yourself with the same compassion, respect, and care that you offer to those you cherish. It’s going to empower you to take risks, try new things, and be unapologetically yourself.
A great first step towards self love is to incorporate a self care activity into your daily routine. It’s a small thing that is going to have a huge impact on living a happy life because it proves to yourself that you matter and deserve to be taken care of.
Check out this post on the 5 steps to creating a self-care routine.
Examples of Reframing Negative Thoughts into Neutral Thoughts
If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some examples of reframing negative thoughts into more neutral thoughts. Affirmation and positive thoughts are powerful tools when you’re having a hard time feeling good about yourself.
Negative Thought: “I’ll never be able to do this.”
Reframe: “It may not be easy and I may face challenges, but with effort and determination, I can be successful.”
Negative Thought: “Ugh, I can never seem to hit my goals. I’m sure a failure”
Reframe: “I am making progress, and setbacks are a natural part of the journey. I will keep taking action on a daily basis.”
Negative Thought: “I’m not as talented as others.”
Reframe: “I have unique strengths and abilities and I contribute value in my own way.”
Negative Thought: “I’ll never figure this out”
Reframe: “Well that didn’t work but now I know what not to do”
Negative Thought: “I look weird in that picture”
Reframe: “Look at how much fun I’m having”
Speaking to yourself with love and kindness is a powerful practice that can transform your relationship with yourself and your whole life.
It truly can be the missing piece of the puzzle of figuring out your purpose in life. If you’re able to talk to yourself like someone you love then you’ll be able to get to your full potential.
By incorporating self-compassion, self-awareness, forgiveness, kindness to yourself, and learning to silence your inner critic, you’ll pave the way for a deeper sense of self-love and acceptance.
Remember, you are worthy of the same love and kindness you offer to others and you’ll do great things in this lifetime.
Embrace it wholeheartedly.
Until next time,
More Posts on Self-Love
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- 121 things to love about yourself