man being yelled at

Effective Ways to Combat Self-Criticism

You’re certainly familiar with the concept of being one’s “own worst enemy.” The source of this issue lies in the negative self-talk so many of us engage in. You know, the voice in your head that so often judges, shames, and doubts your efforts. Sure, it’s important that we honestly examine our choices, behaviors, and thoughts; however, self-criticism takes what could be a healthy practice and turns it into self-sabotage. 

Everyone will have critics in their lives. But if the loudest critical voice you hear is your own, you’re more likely to punish yourself than motivate yourself. Fortunately, there are effective ways to combat self-criticism. 

man up in arms

Spoiler alert: You can talk back to and minimize your inner critic. In fact, it is a giant step toward combating self-criticism. 

Practice Mindfulness

Your internal monologue probably feeds off of time travel. This means that self-criticism revolves around past regrets and future fears. Mindfulness is a practice that keeps you rooted in the present moment. It can be attained through movements like yoga or gentle meditation or breathing exercises. 

Envision Success

The words you speak and the thoughts you choose combine to create a vision. So, rather than fixating on negative thinking patterns, accept that past events do not have to foretell your future. Get in the habit of visualizing positive outcomes in big and small ways. 

Make Meaning Your New Goal

A major component of self-criticism is judging oneself. However, you have the option to change the criteria of success. Turn off your devices and stop comparing yourself to heavily edited content. Instead of aiming solely for society’s expectations, why not aim to gain meaning from your efforts? 

Become Your Own BFF

If your best friend told you they were feeling bad about something they felt like they messed up, would you mock or judge them? Would you go directly to insults? Of course not. So, you know you can comfort someone with love and respect. Now it’s time to treat yourself like that. Choose the same levels of patience and compassion you’d offer your bestie.

Talk Back to Your Inner Critic — For Real

Self-criticism is not the same as facts. Therefore, when that annoying inner voice tries to bring you down, ask it for evidence. Talk back to it — loud and often — until the inner meanie is drowned out by reality. 

woman sitting

None of the above is meant to imply that self-criticism is simple to manage. If you’re in a pattern like this, it will require diligence and time to shift that cycle. That’s why so many folks connect with a skilled therapist. Such an outside voice is ideal for teaming up against the inner critic and turning the tables. 

However, therapy will also help you go deeper. Self-criticism doesn’t happen randomly. Hence, a big part of combatting involves identifying its sources. Getting to the root causes of all the impatience and guilt you speak to yourself is a powerful step toward forging new cycles. The goal is not about removing all negative thoughts. In some instances, it’s important to perform honest self-assessments. Rather, with the support of a professional, you want to make sure that self-love is the dominant approach. 

Contact Integrative Psychotherapy Group

Reach out to Integrative Psychotherapy Group to learn more about anxiety therapy and how it can help you through this process.