How’s that inner self-critic working out for you? The negative one. The one who preys on your insecurities. Confirms your self doubts and attacks your confidence. Here’s what brought her front and center for me this week.
I got an email reply that I interpreted as a put down.
My first reaction? Oh no! I’m so sorry to impose! I meant no harm! Why would I think this was OK to ask them?
Which is utter crap. Neither my perception of, nor reading of the email was logical. I need to beat myself up? The simple answer is no.
It took about 3 seconds to realize I hadn’t done anything wrong. Nada. But the self-critic in my head jumped onboard and tried to have a field day, at my expense. I was more shocked by my reaction and inner critic’s attack, than I was by the email.
My inner critic told me I was at fault. It roared that I’d offended this person! I should have known better than to ask. What was I thinking?
As soon as I heard the attack looping in my thoughts, I got mad. Then I shut her down and examined her tactics.
I thought I’d already changed my self-critic. Or at least had her under control. I’ve been able to alter her daily monologue, for the most part. So rather than streams of criticism, I just have to put up with her swift strikes. But even those need monitoring.
How to reprogram your self-critic
Stop replaying the negative stories in your head. As soon as one sets up shop, stop to question it’s validity.
- Is it true?
- Examine where it came from. Did someone say it to you and you’ve internalized it? Are you the culprit? You’re just being sure you say it about yourself first, so it’s no surprise when someone else does?
- Change the message to a more positive one. Writing it down can help cement the new messages.
- Is it kind? Ask if you would say that to someone you love.
- Only allow your self-critic to focus on your conduct. Not your self and worthiness.
Occasional self-criticism is healthy and helps us see changes we need to make in our behavior. If it’s chronic, it’s hurting you.
Have you done battle with your inner self-critic lately?