Advice

How to Overcome Self-Criticism

Learning to deal with the negativity of other people can be tricky but it often pales in comparison to trying to deal with the criticism we hand out to ourselves. We all have constant thoughts and feelings throughout the day but who can honestly say that the majority of these are positive? Hearing affirming statements of support and encouragement from other people can do a great deal of good to our confidence and the same is true of the things we tell ourselves.

The inner struggles of each person are of course different depending on their circumstances and aims in life, however, there are several things that are true for many people. These common self-criticisms are usually in relation to career progress, family life and self-image. Even the slightest incident or comment from somebody else might prompt us to start doubting ourselves in massive ways and it is also true that we begin these thought processes by ourselves with no outside influence!

Negative thoughts are not only distracting but can also be incredibly damaging to our self-esteem. So how can we overcome this negativity and move towards a happier and healthier sense of self? First of all, it helps to identify what you are feeling and to say it out loud to yourself. When these thoughts are trapped inside your mind they can quickly spiral into something worse. Saying it out loud helps to isolate the feeling and make it seem much less intense. You can then flip your statement around. For instance you can turn, “I have not accomplished what I wanted to at work today” into, “I tried my best to be productive today and tomorrow will be better”.

Secondly it is also beneficial to try and trace your negative thought back to its source. Try to figure out if someone in your life makes you feel that way or if there are certain behaviours that you indulge in that encourage these thoughts. Once you have a better idea of why these thoughts are occurring in your mind you will be better equipped to deal with them.

Finally, try to remember instances where you have previously overcome negativity and moved towards productivity. Remembering these times will help to boost your confidence and push any fears to the back of your mind! It is important to give yourself credit for your accomplishments instead of only concentrating on the things that have gone wrong!

38 comments

  1. You’re right. Emotions and thoughts in the mind seem much more intense and it helps to vent them out. So thank you for pointing that out. Huh, I know self-criticism is damaging to one’s self confidence but I have never been able to put it into words quite like you have. So yes, I am guilty of negative thoughts about myself. I will work toward being positive in here (Pointing to my head) lol. Great post!

  2. Brilliant. So important to catch your negative thoughts before they set fire to the mind. You can either let a negative thought ruin your day or you can flick the switch and turn it into a positive. Really enjoyed reading this!

  3. Thanks for some actual helpful advice! I think the first point you make about actually identifying and saying it out loud can be really helpful… it certainly helps put things into perspective for me 🙂

  4. I find it helps to remind myself that I am a work in progress, but self-deprecating humor is typically my go-to in times of self-doubt. If I recognize and laugh at my flaws first, then I’ve owned them and other criticism stings less. Best of luck in your journey – and you really seem to have it more together than some of the women from whom you have sought advice on #LadiesofLondon. Excited to try JUB when it hits American stores!

  5. I found your article interesting, it is true your brain can turn a single thought and a comment made about you into a bad day, I change them into a positive thought then get on with my day. I see you recommend fruit and vegetables for a healthy life, but did you know 70% are deficient in minerals and we need 60 minerals a day to stay healthy. please take a look at my blog

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