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How to Overcome Self-Criticism

Self-criticism is something that we all do time and again. While inner thoughts can be a stepping stone to avoid making the same mistakes, sometimes they can stand in our way of realizing our goals

Self-criticism is something that we all do time and again. While inner thoughts can be a stepping stone to avoid making the same mistakes, sometimes they can stand in our way of realizing our goals. If you concentrate on negative self-talk, your mental state is bound to be negatively affected, depriving yourself of the energy to concentrate on your goals.

Your thoughts may either have a negative or positive impact on your feelings and behavior. Your thoughts can push you towards success or destruction. For instance, someone who says that “It’s impossible” has higher chances of failing in their endeavors than someone who says “I can do it.” If you find yourself having negative self-talk regularly, you are not alone. Self-criticism is common in almost everyone. However, you shouldn’t be a slave of your own thoughts. Many ways can change how you think. They include:

Paying Attention to Your Thoughts is a Great Way to Avoid Self-Criticism

The first step to overcoming self-criticism is paying attention to your thoughts. What do you think about yourself? This will help you understand the person you believe you are and what you think of yourself. A person has around 60,000 thoughts per day. Therefore, you have more than 60,000 chances to either think positively or negatively about yourself. Understanding your thoughts pattern helps you understand the effect your thoughts have on your life.

Figure out What You’d Say to a Friend

It’s always easier to be kind and compassionate to another person than to yourself. For instance, it’s easy to tell yourself that you can’t do it as it is easy to tell a friend that they can do it. When you feel low about a mistake or you are losing trust in yourself, ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend or a loved one in the same situation?” Tell yourself the same words and don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s really nice to give yourself another chance as you would do to another person.

Examining the Evidence May Help Overcome Self-Criticism

Our thoughts aren’t always right. They are mostly negative thoughts trying to get the best of us. It’s crucial to examine the evidence of your thoughts before believing in any thought. For instance, if you think that you are going to fail the interview, list down the reason for failing the interview. On another paper, list down why you think you will pass the interview. Studying both reasons will help you give yourself a chance. Remember that your thoughts aren’t always true hence there isn’t a need to be hard on yourself based on your thoughts.

Change the Channel

Solving a problem is the best way to ensure that your mind is peaceful. However, thinking about a certain problem for too long is destructive. If you can’t stop thinking about a mistake you made, the thought of something bad that happened to you will stick in your head for quite some time. The best way to avoid concentrating on negative things in your life is by getting active. Go for a walk, or find something interesting that can distract you from negative thoughts. You can also call a friend to have a fun talk with or listen to fast tempo music.

Consider if Your Thoughts were Right

Ask yourself, what if your thoughts were right. What will you do? Figuring what you would do if your thoughts were right can help you increase your confidence. For example, if you had a thought of being rejected on a job vacancy, and later on you get rejected, acting on it with compassion can help boost your confidence. You will find out that you can deal with hard times and not be so hard on yourself.

Adopt New Beliefs That Bring the Best Version Out of You

List down new beliefs that you want to believe about yourself. What are you best at? What do you love doing? Why should you love yourself? Are you proud of yourself and why? What you don’t like about yourself? Can you change any of these things that you don’t like about yourself? If you can’t change any of them, learn how to live with them. Concentrate on better things about yourself knowing that you can never be 100% in every aspect of your life.

Balance Self-Improvement with Self-Acceptance to Avoid Self-Criticism

There’s a difference between thinking that you can’t do it and knowing that there’s room for improvement. Accept your failures with a belief that you will improve in the future. Though it might sound impossible, you can work on both self-improvement and self-acceptance at the same time. For instance, you can accept that you are nervous about a presentation at your workplace as you work on improving your public speaking skills. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but also concentrate on being a better version of yourself.

Replace Negative Thought with Positive Ones

Since we now know that our thoughts aren’t always right, replace negative thoughts with positive ones. If you think that you will not pass your exams, replace that thought by telling yourself that if you study hard, you have a chance of passing your exams. Remember not to be unrealistically positive since it can be damaging as serious self-criticism. For instance, you can’t tell yourself that you will pass your exams even without learning. Be realistic on every thought to become mentally stronger.

Overcoming Self-Criticism Wrapping Up

Your mind can either be the source of strength or downfall. It’s important to train your mind to think positively. Though sometimes it’s hard to think positively about a certain problem, it’s not right to dwell in such thoughts. Failures and success are part of the life we are living in. The determiner of what happens next lies in how we think about the situation. Remember that there is life and room for success after failing.

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Samuel Njoroge

AUTHOR: Samuel Njoroge

Samuel (he/him) is a freelance writer, blogger, copywriter, and marketer. And a career spanning three years and enjoys crafting error-free content that increases subscriptions and sales. Samuel excels in mental health, self-improvement, technology, and marketing topics.