Updated: Mar 26, 2022
Here’s a question for you: what would it mean to be your own best friend? Treating ourselves harshly can be a bad habit, something that we are not aware of but that determines our thinking, behavior, and experiences. When we listen to our inner critic we hear a nagging voice in our head saying things like: ‘I can’t do it’ or, ‘I’m such a failure’ or ‘what will people think of me?’ When those thoughts set in, they can make us feel unworthy, unmotivated, and depressed.
How would things change if you treated yourself like your best friend instead? It would mean encouraging and caring for yourself the same way you would for those you love. Where this sounds easy, developing a more caring attitude towards ourselves can actually be quite challenging because we often treat ourselves in ways that we would not dare to treat others – particularly our friends, and we find ourselves at the mercy of our ‘inner critic’.
When someone criticizes us, we experience the criticism as a threat, even if it’s meant to be helpful. Similarly, if we are always self-critical then we are activating the emotions of fear, anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem and anger. These feelings don’t help us to be well and do the things we want to in our life. Try a little self-kindness instead to create emotions of happiness, positive emotion, well-being, resilience.
Here are some tips about how you can practice being kinder to yourself:
Listen to your inner voice and change the tone from critical to one full of love, respect, and gratitude – the same tone of voice you would use when speaking to a friend or loved one.
If you make a mistake, acknowledge it; acknowledge that you are human and imperfect, that mistakes can happen to anyone. Ask yourself: What has happened here? What can I do differently next time?
Review your day and focus on the things that you are proud of, that have gone well and learn from the things that haven’t gone so well.
If you need some more tips about silencing your inner critic, sign up for my FREE 15 minute coaching discovery session at deanstorercoaching.youcanbook.me