Taming our self critic

Taming our self critic is challenging. As we encounter challenges in life, accepting others actions can be difficult and accepting yourself can seem impossible. Your inner critic can be savage. It reminds us of our failures showing us where we went wrong telling us where we stood out. It seeks out the smallest of errors and reminds us of our vulnerability in a challenging world.

The workings of the inner critic

Where we are patient with others, we are harsh with ourselves. We expect more and look for fewer mistakes. It’s a painful place to be. It can leave us feeling shamed, guilty and stressed.

Yet, our internal critic is an entirely natural process, a survival mechanism that helps us to improve as we encounter difficult situations. It helps us to notice the emotional cost of danger. It helps keep us in balance. Yet, if we don’t have the skill of taming our self critic, it becomes harder to value your success. It is harder to notice the help that will allow us to make positive choices as we move forward.

Offering self-compassion through success

Taming our self criticOne approach that can make a difference in containing your self-critic is to notice the positives and the successes (however small) that you have in your life. By balancing the negatives of the self-critical anxious process with process that praises your successes. After that you have a more objective and realistic view of yourself and your progress.

A second method in taming our self critic, which meets with success is to challenge the thought process of the critic. For instance, make the thought less personal, instead of “I’ll never find a partner” – “you’ll never find a partner”. Then respond to these statements in a compassionate was. “I may not have a partner at the moment, but I am loveable, I enjoy being with people and I just haven’t met the right person yet.” This process helps to challenge the critical thoughts in a rounded more compassionate way, similar to that you would offer a friend.

In conclusion, having a critical self is a positive thing and taming that inner critic so we have balance is an effective way to feel that we are making progress when we evaluate ourselves. If the inner critic is the stick it is important to realise that we all need carrots too