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How many times have you caught yourself thinking “I can never do things right” or “I’m such a loser/idiot”? Don’t be alarmed! You’re not the only one indulging in such negative self-talk! Still, if you really want to change your life you have to let go of this self loathing.
You might think that talking negative about yourself can be a reminder to stay anchored and work hard to achieve your goals. But what we tend to forget is that this criticism leads to low self-esteem and slowly erodes whatever confidence we possess. Try our proven pointers on how to stop self-criticism.
5 Steps to Stop Negative Self-Talk
1. Stuff it in a box
Experts suggest the “fit in the small box” technique as the perfect way to muzzle your inner critic. How do you do that? The next time you foul it up in an important meeting, don’t kick yourself all over the place about it. Instead, think about what you could’ve done to make the meeting better. This is a brilliant way of constructive criticism that also minimises the problem and helps you find a solution.
2. Use the carrot and stick approach
This is a motivational approach where you cut down on one of your indulgences when you self-criticise. For instance, if you love ice-cream, then don’t buy yourself an ice-cream till the inner critic leaves you alone. Another more practical yet painful way to stop yourself from taking pot shots at yourself would be to wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when things head south. Ouch!
3. Put things in a better light
Sometimes all you need to do is change the way you look at things. Self-criticism is a unhealthy way to label yourself all the things that you aren’t. So what if you said something silly in front of the entire office? It was just a one-off for you, but to hear your inner critic talk, one would think you do it all the time! Your silly moment was just one incident and there is no way it defines you. You might have felt silly, but “you” aren’t silly. Understanding the difference between these two aspects can help you come to terms with the reality faster.
4. Stop airing your dirty laundry
What is self-criticism? If you look at it, it’s the feeling of self-shaming yourself when you needn’t. Your blunder might have actually been just a teensy blooper. Call your friend, share the shame and get a few laughs out of it. You’ll feel so much lighter than spending the entire night calling yourself all sorts of names!
5. Remember that nobody is perfect
Nobody is perfect and everyone has a right to make mistakes. Rather, these little mistakes signify that you’re at least trying to move forward. Only those who are stagnant never commit an error. Things happen. You need to learn to move on and stop getting serious about it.
So the next time you find yourself indulging in some unconstructive self-criticism, relax! Don’t let that nagging voice get started with your flawed self! Take a deep breath (maybe snap your rubber band a few times) and move on!