How to Say No to Your Inner Critic
When it comes to being happy, most people realize that their biggest enemy is themselves. They feel that they are not doing enough, not working hard enough, not putting their best efforts, and they torture themselves so much, that they find it hard to even try and smile.
This article is about how you can say no to your inner critic so you can actively choose happiness over self-loathing and achieve a state of mental peace.
Say “no” to criticism
The longest conversations you have are with yourself. If they are tinged with criticism, you’ll find yourself unable to overcome even minor obstacles.
Your self-talk, the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head, are automatic thoughts arising from logic, reason, information, or perception. They can be positive or negative.
Most of the time, if we don’t consciously monitor our self-talk, it tends to veer towards negative. As the licensed psychologist, Guy Winch, Ph.D., writes, “Negative self-talk is purely harmful. It impairs our self-esteem, confidence, sense of empowerment, agency, mastery, competence, motivation, determination, and sense of purpose. It adds zero value and causes profound psychological, emotional, and cognitive damage.”
If self-criticism is so harmful, why do we keep justifying it? What are some ways to get over negative self-talk? Behavioral expert, Beverly D. Flaxington, has outlined a 4-step guide to changing the narrative in your head to something more positive:
- Be aware of the times your self-talk tries to tell you you’re not good enough. Acknowledge the presence and potential destructiveness of this negative self-talk.
- Next, replace the negative spool that runs over and over in your head with something more neutral.
- Then, make a list of the things that make you happy. Print it out and read it over and over again until you’re comforted that things are really okay.
- Choose objectivity over emotion. Going into a state of data and objective viewpoints often diminish the sting of emotion associated with negative states.