Troubled woman touching her head

Is Your Inner Critic Weighing You Down?

Consider these six tips immediately.

We all have an inner critic that often does more harm than good. It’s this inner voice that can further demoralise you when in doubt. Negative self-talk or comparisons are something that everyone experiences from time to time, and it can affect your mind, causing unwanted stress and leaving you feeling disappointed. 

It can manifest in several ways, with negative thoughts plaguing your mind – I am not good enough, I can never do anything right, I will never be able to get that job. While being criticised and compared pushes some to do better in order to prove their worth, it can affect the morale of others, creating self-doubt and even causing serious mental health issues. Some of the effects of negative self-talk and comparisons include the following: 

  1. It can create limiting beliefs such as ‘I am not worthy of being loved’ or ‘I can’t open my own business.’
  2. You might tend to believe that perfection is key to greatness and develop perfectionist tendencies.
  3. You develop a tendency to self-judge and do better than others, simply because your definition of success, happiness, and love is based on how it looks on others.
  4. It could make you feel needy and insecure in your relationships, where even a ‘playful’ amount of criticism can have a negative impact on you.
Negative self-talk

The biggest drawback of negative self-talk is that it is not positive. Studies have shown that positive self-talk is a great predictor of productivity, success, and overall well-being. So how can you avoid comparisons and negative self-talk? The following six steps can help.

1. Identify When You Are Being Self-Critical 

Learn to recognise when you are being overly critical of yourself and how it makes you feel – miserable, cruel, short-sighted, or maybe unconfident? Another way to spot negative self-talk is to notice things you say to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a friend or family member.

2. Don’t Always Mistake Your Thoughts and Emotions for Reality

Oftentimes, we get so swayed by our biases and judgments that it can get delusional or far from the truth. Have you experienced your mind telling you that you can’t do something, but when you actually mustered up the courage to do it, you found out that it wasn’t so tough after all? That’s precisely why you must listen to your inner intuition more than your inner critic, and not mistake your biased observations to be accurate.

3. Shift Your Perspective 

At times, shifting our perspective and thinking long-term rather than dwelling on current thoughts can really help. For instance, when you are upset about something, ask yourself if it will matter in five years – or even after a month, for that matter. Another way is to look at your negative rumination from a holistic healing perspective. This will help you realise that most of your tensions aren’t as big as they appear. 

holistic healing

4. Speak to Yourself Like a Friend

Your inner critic can easily become your worst enemy. In such moments, speak to yourself as you would to a dear friend or family member. When you catch yourself speaking negatively, ask yourself how your friends would handle this instead. What would they say to me? How would it make me feel better?  

5. Time It Out

Thought-stopping is another interesting way to simply distract and stop a thought. It’s not suppressing your thoughts, but channeling them in a more productive way. This can include visualising a stop sign or thinking something else, which is especially important for thoughts like ‘I am not good enough or ‘I’ll never be able to do this,’ 

6. Name It 

Thinking of your inner critic as a force outside of yourself (and even giving it a goofy nickname) makes your negative self-talk less threatening and easier to realise how silly some of your critical thoughts are. There was once a Saturday Night Live character known as Debbie Downer, who would find the negative in any situation. If your inner critic has this unwavering skill as well, then you can simply think, “Debbie Downer is doing her thing again.”

At first, it might seem difficult to take charge of your thoughts and shun the part of your mind that creeps its way into overthinking, self-sabotaging, and negativity, but you must confront them and create a counter-narrative. Practising some of these ways on a timely basis will rewire your brain in the long run and set you up for thinking positively about yourself. At the end of the day, how you speak to yourself matters just as much as how you would speak to a loved one – with care, kindness, compassion. You are worth it! 


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Empowering Self: Unveiling Three Essential Strategies to Overcome Self-Doubt

Empowerment Through Confidence

Self-doubt is a common struggle that many people face. It can hold us back from reaching our full potential and achieving our goals. But what exactly is self-doubt, and how can we overcome it? We will explore the concept of self-doubt and unveil three essential strategies to help you overcome it and empower yourself.

Understanding Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. It is the inner voice that tells us we are not good enough, smart enough, or capable enough to achieve our goals. It can manifest in different ways, such as fear of failure, imposter syndrome, or constantly seeking validation from others.

Self-doubt can be triggered by past experiences, societal pressures, or our own inner critic. It can hold us back from taking risks, trying new things, or pursuing our passions. However, it is important to remember that self-doubt is a normal part of the human experience and can be overcome with the right strategies.

The Power of Inner Strength

Inner strength is the ability to trust in oneself and one’s abilities. It is the foundation of self-confidence and resilience. When we have inner strength, we are better equipped to face challenges and overcome self-doubt.

Cultivating a Positive Mindset

Our mindset plays a crucial role in how we perceive ourselves and our abilities. A positive mindset involves having a growth mindset, which means believing that our abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and learning. It also involves reframing negative thoughts into positive ones and focusing on our strengths rather than our weaknesses. Cultivating a positive mindset takes practice, but it can greatly impact how we view ourselves and our potential.

The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care is often overlooked, but it is essential for building inner strength and maintaining a positive mindset. Self-care involves taking care of our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It can include activities such as exercise, meditation, spending time in nature, or engaging in hobbies. When we prioritise self-care, we are better equipped to handle self-doubt and build our inner strength.


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Strategies to Overcome Self-Doubt

Now that we have a better understanding of self-doubt and its impact, let’s explore three essential strategies to help you overcome self-doubt and empower yourself.

Practice Self-Awareness

Building inner strength takes time and effort, but it is a crucial step in overcoming self-doubt. Here are three strategies to help you cultivate inner strength and empower yourself.

Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It is a crucial first step in overcoming self-doubt because it allows us to identify when self-doubt is present and how it affects us. To practice self-awareness, try journaling or mindfulness exercises. This can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions and how they contribute to self-doubt. Once you are aware of your self-doubt triggers, you can work on reframing negative thoughts and building your inner strength.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is important for building confidence and overcoming self-doubt. When we set unrealistic goals, we set ourselves up for failure, which can reinforce self-doubt. Instead, set achievable goals that align with your strengths and values. This will help you build momentum and confidence, which can help you overcome self-doubt in the long run.

Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

The people we surround ourselves with can greatly impact our self-doubt. If you are constantly surrounded by negative influences, it can be challenging to build inner strength and maintain a positive mindset. Instead, surround yourself with positive influences, such as supportive friends and family, mentors, or positive role models. These individuals can provide encouragement and help you stay motivated on your journey to overcoming self-doubt.

Self-doubt is a common feeling that can hold us back from reaching our full potential. However, with the right strategies, we can overcome self-doubt and empower ourselves to achieve our goals. By cultivating inner strength, maintaining a positive mindset, and practising, we can build the confidence and resilience needed to overcome self-doubt. Remember, self-doubt is a normal part of the human experience, and with determination and perseverance, we can overcome it and reach our full potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly can I expect to see results when applying these strategies to overcome self-doubt?

Results in overcoming self-doubt vary, but with consistent application of strategies, individuals often experience positive shifts in mindset and confidence within a few weeks. Patience and commitment are key to cultivating lasting self-empowerment.

Can these strategies be applied to different aspects of life, such as work or personal relationships?

The self-empowerment strategies provided are versatile and can be seamlessly applied to various life aspects, fostering confidence, resilience, and positive transformations in both professional and personal realms.

Are there additional resources or practices that complement these essential strategies for a more comprehensive self-empowerment journey?

Supplement your self-empowerment journey with additional resources like self-help books, workshops, and mindfulness practices. Incorporating holistic approaches enhances the effectiveness of the essential strategies, providing a well-rounded path to sustained self-empowerment.


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