When you are very self conscious, sometimes you can notice every flaw about you and become obsessed with using these flaws to view yourself negatively. Sometimes you can be your own worse critic, constantly reminding yourself of your flaws and mistakes, even after you’ve corrected it. Sometimes being self critical can be used as a driving force for growth and help you strive for excellence. Other times you ruminate on negative thoughts about yourself leading to depression and anxiety. This could also lead to questioning your self worth, and impact making healthier decisions for yourself.
Once you get stuck in the pattern of being self critical, you can grow self hatred for yourself. This makes it difficult to see your strengths and use them to manifest a purposeful life. Instead you feel like a failure and it’s hard to see where you can succeed. You see yourself as incapable of accomplishing your goals. You rarely take risks that can elevate you and help you grow, because you have a fear of failing. This leads to living an unfulfilling life, and living in a state of constant darkness and depression. How can you find “the light” again? How can you become your own best friend full of self love and self worth? How can you learn to accept your flaws, and love yourself wholeheartedly and completely? Here are some tips to silence your inner critic.
1. MEDTITATION: Meditation gives you the opportunity to clear your mind, center yourself, and connect to your higher self. Taking a few minutes out of your day to clear your mind, gives less opportunities for negative thoughts to consume you. Schedule in 5-30 minutes of your day for meditation. If you tend to ruminate on negative thoughts at night, schedule your meditation session an hour before you go to bed. Journal your experience, and any thoughts that comes after. Another method is to meditate on a positive thought about yourself. You can also add chanting postive affirmations about yourself to reprogram your subconscious mind. If you have difficulty with meditation, use guided meditation to help guide you (many are available on Youtube).
2. HIGHLIGHT YOUR STRENGTHS: One way to silence you inner critic is to highlight your strengths. You can do this, by making a list of your greatest qualities and reading them aloud daily. You can create “I Am” affirmations based on your strengths and tape them on your mirror. Read them every morning and every night until your negative thoughts decrease.
3. SHADOW WORK: We can start to work with the shadow side of ourselves to create positive change in our lives. It is a form of self-examination. Shadow work is an introspective psychological practice that anyone can do and can lead to a more fulfilling life. When working with the shadow, you may have moments of awakening that lead to greater authenticity, creativity, and emotional freedom (1). You can begin to discover your shadow side by using the below jounral prompts:
4. SELF-LOVE RITUALS: Sometimes our inner critic can turn into self hatred. Radical self love can silence our inner critic, and boost our happiness. One way is to increase self love is through self love rituals. Here’s a simple self love ritual:
1) Get a Journal, 2) Get a pink candle, 3) Get pink Himalayan salt, 4) Get rose petals, 5) Get rose quartz crystals, 6) Write down three things that makes you beautiful and begin with “I Am”, 7) Write three things you are good at and begin with “I am good at”, 9) Write three things you love about yourself and begin with “I Love”, 10) Light the candle and read your journal entry aloud, 11) Tell your higher self “I Love Me”, 12) give yourself a hug, 13) take a self love bath with pink Himalayan salt, rose petals, and line your tub with rose quartz crystals.
5. LEAN ON YOUR LOVED ONES: At times we may not be strong enough to silence our inner critic on our own, and will have to ask someone to support us. When this happens call a loved one and ask them to listen to you. You can also ask them to tell you what great qualities they like about you. Ask your loved ones for hugs and kisses on the cheek. When you are at your worst, it’s okay to ask for help!
6. USE YOUR INNER CRITIC FOR GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES: Sometimes we can criticize ourselves for mistakes we have made in the past. Instead of beating ourselves up, we can use these mistakes as opportunities to grow. Ask yourself: Did you correct the mistake? What did you learn from the mistake? How can you avoid making the same mistake in the future? When you look at your mistakes as learning and growth opportunities, it reduces your shame about the mistakes. Everytime you ruminate on the mistake, you can challenge the thought with: “I’ve learned from it!”
7. SELF-FORGIVENESS: Sometimes negative feelings and emotions arise from our negative thoughts leaving us feeling sad and anxious. One way to prevent negative emotions and feelings from negative thoughts is to forgive ourselves for our mistakes. We do this by recognizing our human nature to make mistakes and accepting that we are not perfect beings. You are not alone in the mistakes you have made. I can guarantee that many others have made these mistakes too. What separates some from others is they radically practice self forgiveness, and extend themselves grace. Give yourself some compassion by writing yourself a love letter. Start your love letter with: “I forgive you for….” and list your mistakes one by one. Read the letter aloud everytime you begin to ruminate on your mistakes. It will take time, but eventually you will forgive yourself.
Sometimes we can be our worse enemy. The voices in our head can constantly ruminate on our flaws, and ignore our strengths. I’ve learned that sometimes what we think are flaws, those around us adore them as our qualities. Some people may not even see it as a flaw until we name it. This is why you must learn to speak more loving towards yourself, and practice radical self-acceptance. When you speak to yourself, highlight your strengths. When you speak to others, highlight your greatest qualities. When you recognize a mistake, immediately learn from it and forgive yourself. Give yourself more grace. Learn to be your own best friend through radical self-love.