As women, we tend to be our own worst critics. That inner bully can undermine how we feel about ourselves, our goals and our ability to live our best lives. While self love is the natural antidote for self criticism, achieving those positive inner thoughts is a lot easier said than done. For many of us, it’s incredibly challenging to shift from completely negative self-talk to completely positive self-talk. That inner critic takes a hold, and it can be difficult to break away. So today, we are sharing four steps you can take to tame your inner critic and start on the path to self compassion.
Step 1: Replace negative self-talk with neutral affirmations.
Rather than characterizing things about yourself as good or bad, start training your brain to think in terms of neutrality. Stick to objective facts instead of opinions. For example, instead of thinking “my legs are fat”, switch to a completely neutral and objective statement: “I have legs”. Rather than saying “I hate my body”, simply say “I have a body”. “I feel unworthy” becomes “I have feelings”. Once you are able to neutralize that inner critic, you can then work towards more positive self-talk.
Step 2: Add realistic but positive thoughts.
Once you’ve gotten comfortable with neutral thinking, you can now progress to realistic but positive affirmations. “I have legs” now becomes “I have legs that let me walk two miles a day”. “I have arms” becomes “I have arms that help me hug those I love most”. Expressing gratitude for all that you have and all that you are will help retrain your brain to start thinking differently.
Step 3: Put a stop to self-deprecating thoughts.
Make a deal with yourself that you will no longer allow any more self-deprecating or hateful thoughts about yourself. When life gets stressful and things aren’t going your way, don’t let the negative self-talk float into your brain. Simply say “no, not today”. Let that be your mantra each time you feel your negative inner voice get louder. Neutral and positive self talk take practice, so show yourself some compassion and prevent the negative thoughts from taking over with that simple phrase.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3.
Taking control of your negative inner critic is a life-long journey. There will be ups and downs throughout that journey, so repeat steps 1-3 as many times as necessary. We can’t promise that the negative thoughts will stop completely, but with practice and patience, your inner critic will become quieter and give way to self love and acceptance.