I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the saying, “Everyone is a critic” and I’ve kinda brushed it off. Thinking about it now, I can say, it’s true we’re all critics. And for me, my biggest critic stares right back at me when I look in the mirror.
Other people may come down hard on me but chances are I’ll pick up on it later coz I’ve already been there by myself. Sound familiar?
They say you can talk to yourself as long as you don’t answer back. If you don’t answer back, however, the potentially negative thoughts will continue unchallenged and this is more detrimental than being thought of as crazy. Allowing negative self-talk to dominate our minds can lead to low self-esteem, bad habits, depression and other unhealthy results.
So, here are the 6 Ways I use to silence the inner critic.
#1 Not letting pressure get to me
Those who know me well know I don’t like pressure. To avoid it at all costs, I plan well in advance. I like to be proactive and don’t like being reactive or doing things last minute. Sometimes I’ll think things and start creating them, attacking those thoughts as soon as they speak to me. This is my way of avoiding pressure.
#2 Replace negativity with positive self-talk
When a negative thought is removed something needs to fill its place in my mind so my only option is to exchange a negative for a positive thought. If the negative thoughts can keep me down, then surely the positive ones can lift me up.
#3 Talk to someone
There’s 2 parts to this – there’s talking to a trusted friend and just anybody, could be a stranger.
Talking to a trusted friend
We all have friends we trust certain issues/problems or just life in general. My friends, I’d like to say they’re carefully chosen, but I think they’ve fitted in well in my life such that I know who to talk to about what. Whoever I trust with an issue, I explain the situation that made me feel so bad and I allow them to console, counsel and challenge that thought. If it’s a negative thought pattern that is condemning me, chances are by the end of discussion I’ll be feeling better because they’d have talked sense or reminded me of good things.
Talking to just anyone
I find sometimes negative self-talk doesn’t need to be shared. Sometimes I just need time, or to get out of the zone or situation and do something different. A phone call to a friend to discuss something else or even a conversation with a random stranger at the park could have me feeling better about myself.
#4 Count my blessings
This is similar to counting positives. What have I done right or what’s great about my life? Counting my blessings – family, life, work, health etc, before I know it, I don’t feel bad anymore.
#5 Accept my imperfections
Acceptance is not surrender! A few people I know live by the theory “never admit you’re wrong”. I don’t know about you but I loathe this theory. I admit when I’m wrong and I also accept my imperfections (but I don’t let them hinder me). I know my limitations. Although sometimes I’ll try overcome them, I still know where/when to stop. To avoid disappointment, I say love yourself for who you are – the good, the bad, the ugly and the peculiar. Use the skills you’re strong in, i.e focus on your strengths not weaknesses. My strengths are actually good enough for me to make a change in today’s life.
#6 Being realistic
If you’re like me, you probably have people in your life who take things simply or are relaxed about things you want to be serious about. You tell them something and they laugh or brush it off saying something like “it’s not that bad”! Rings a bell?
Well, so for me before I carry on with my thinking of negative self-talk, I’ll ask myself, “was the situation as bad as I imagined it”. Maybe I’m exaggerating the story because of the negatives churning in my mind. I take a realistic look at myself and put things into perspective.
So if you think negative, don’t let that negative voice in your head overshadow your actual voice. Speak the truth and change your circumstances.
Practise the above till it becomes a habit to change negative thoughts. Read my article on Habits and Determination / Willpower for some other tips.
Can you relate to any of this? If so, in what way? Would love to hear your thoughts…
#teeshares #countyourblessings #berealistic