Are you shackled to your disparaging self-critic?
Subservient to that mean inner voice?
If so, that’s a one-sided relationship where you’re always the loser.
There’s just so much tension, friction, and pain.
And living with this relentless criticism has worn down your resolve and destroyed your self-confidence too.
Little wonder you’re so exhausted and demoralized. No surprise that sometimes you feel a failure.
That controlling voice has made all your decisions and crafted your life to date. Worst of all, it’s trashed your dreams and convinced you that you’re capable of much less than you really are.
If a partner shredded everything you did and said as much, you’d have left… it’s that awful. Especially on the worst days — oh boy, then it makes you want to curl up, shut down, even give up altogether.
You’d love to walk away from your over-critical self. Better yet, you’d love to run away so fast that your hair catches fire.
Imagine being this free; you could finally feel great about yourself.
You could look in the mirror and smile, just for who you are and what you did today.
Sure, freedom from being a slave to self-criticism doesn’t come like an instant pardon, but with one small, simple action at a time, you can build your self-compassion into a habit.
Use the following strategies to break the shackles that bind you to your self-criticism.
21 Ways To Break Free of Your Inner Critic:
1. Create a hurrah for me! diary.
Note all the times you’ve done something for yourself or others. Keep it as a positive scorecard to the negative record your inner critic keeps.
2. Wake up to your own positive message.
Buy a voice recording alarm clock and start the day with some positive self-love! (Can also get an app for your phone) Search “personal voice recording alarm clock” or “app + voice alarm clock.”
3. Personalize your phone’s home screen.
Write a short, positive message to yourself on a piece of paper and take a picture of it. Set it as your home screen. You can also do the same thing on your computer.
4. Mock your inner critic.
Look in the mirror, and repeat back a favorite phrase of your inner critic in a ridiculous voice and manner — and then laugh at him or her.
5. Buy Yourself a Self-Love Mug.
Every time you take a sip of your favorite hot drink at home or work, enjoy a dash of self-love. Search “mugs+self-love.”
6. Create a flip-book of your inner critic’s destruction.
Create a flip-book animation in which your inner critic gets its just dessert. For example, you might animate it getting crushed under a ton of weight. Then just watch and enjoy.
7. Use the positive power of social media.
Post, share, and comment on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest — anything and everything that counteracts the effects of negative self-criticism. (like this article!)
8. Save Every Compliment You Get.
When someone sends you an appreciative message, store it on your phone, computer, or if it’s a physical card or letter, keep them in an album or scrapbook. Refer to them often as a counter to your self-criticism.
9. Go for an easy win.
Note one thing you criticize yourself for where you have genuine room for improvement – take one small, doable step toward it straight away.
10. Forget being perfect.
Next time you beat yourself up for not being perfect, remember: “Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough.” ~ Julia Cameron.
11. Beat self-criticism at its own game.
Every time you act or do something right, give yourself at least TWICE as much praise as you would have given criticism if you’d messed up.
12. Give yourself a feel-good boost.
Ramp up your positive self-image by doing something to make someone else feel good.
13. Tell yourself you’re sorry.
Whenever you recognize a self-critical thought, apologize to yourself (out loud if possible).
14. Pare down your to-do list / Reduce opportunities to fail.
Stop feeding your self-critic ammunition by constantly overstretching yourself. Start by cutting one nonessential item from your to-do list.
15. Stop compounding your mistakes.
Remember that “The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect.”~ Adam Osborne.
16. Build a collection of self-appreciation quotes.
Choose those that feel personal to you. You could start here http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/category/Self-approval.
17. Think of your friends and family.
People who are always criticizing themselves are no fun to be around. Lighten up on yourself for the sake of those around you.
18. Picture your inner critic as a jailer.
Visualize yourself breaking free of the mental prison of excessive self-criticism.
19. Buy a Tamagotchi.
For those who don’t know, a Tamagotchi is a virtual pet. You’ll soon find that if you don’t give it enough love and attention, it withers and dies. Understand that you are no different. P.S. – you can even get one for your Apple watch!
20. Bake some self-praise cookies.
Write out positive self-messages and bake them inside like fortune cookies.
21. Reprogram your self-critic.
Every time you use a negative word or phrase in self-criticism, write it down, and put a positive alternative next to it. Here a few to start you off:
- failure : temporary setback
- dumb mistake : learning experience
- I wish I’d … : next time I will …
Be The Master Of Your Mind
Your self-critic has mastered you for too long. It’s overpowered and controlled you.
You’ve been bullied into believing a whole bunch of lies that have distorted your self-perception.
That relentless, critical inner voice has denied you the freedom to enjoy your life. That’s a crime you wouldn’t tolerate from anyone else.
But simple, positive actions can help you reclaim your power. They can put you back in control. With practice, they can help you overthrow your self-critic and take back control.
Just imagine getting through a day without beating yourself up.
Imagine that mean inner voice disappearing and you being free of that oppressive criticism.
Imagine actually being comfortable in your own skin, confident of your abilities.
Free yourself from self-criticism by rereading one of the techniques above, and try it out today. Try another tomorrow. Build up a list that works for you.
Your self-critic has dominated your life for a long time. Sure, taking back control will require patience, but if you take it one day at a time, with a small, simple action each day, you can do it.
You can be the master of your own life again.