We all have an inner critic. Maybe for you, it’s that voice inside that’s constantly telling you you’re not good enough. Or maybe it’s the one telling you that you need to be stronger or smarter. This voice judges you for the little things and magnifies your weaknesses. And it’s up to you to combat your inner critic with positivity.
Don’t get us wrong, taming your own negativity is hard. After all, you are your worst critic. It’s likely that you relentlessly point out your own flaws, while you would barely notice those same flaws in others. We’ve put together a few ideas for taming this negative dialogue so that you can live your life with a positive self-image.
Be nice to yourself.
You strive to be kind to others, but why aren’t you putting in that same effort when it comes to being kind to yourself? Here are some of our favorite ways to show yourself a little more love:
- Repeat positive affirmations aloud when you have a few moments to yourself during the day. Check out this article for some positive affirmation examples!
- Write down three things you like about yourself each morning.
- Take care of your body by prioritizing your physical health (i.e., exercise and healthy eating).
You’ll find that it’s harder to be tough on yourself when you’re taking great care of yourself. So, while the tasks on this list may seem simple, doing them will make a world of difference when it comes to your self-image.
Critique your thinking.
The average human has somewhere between 12,000-50,000 thoughts per day. But guess what? About 80% of those daily thoughts are negative (yikes!).
While it’s hard to completely stop our negative thinking, we can call ourselves out on it. Get into the habit of challenging your negative thoughts. “Is this really as bad as I think it is?” “How can I see this situation from a different point of view?” “Am I complaining just for the sake of complaining?” Critiquing your thoughts is hard, tiring, and uncomfortable. But challenging our own views is the only way we grow.
Learn to embrace imperfection.
This is probably the hardest thing to do, but at the end of the day, you have to accept that nobody’s perfect. Every one of us has our flaws, faults, and things we wish we could change about ourselves. And our inner critic often does a great job of reminding us of those things—over and over again. But rather than allowing your inner critic to win, choose to see your imperfections as a valuable piece of who you are. And learn to love those parts of you! For example, if you’re impulsive, you might change your mindset and say that you’re good at making decisions quickly. Here are some tips:
- Surround yourself with people who celebrate the things that make you, you.
- Realize that imperfections are part of being human.
- Practice gratitude.
- Remember that your thoughts don’t define you (see section above if you forget 😉).
The truth is that learning to embrace your imperfections won’t happen overnight. It can take years and years to fully accept yourself—and even then, you still may have moments when you doubt yourself. The important thing is to know that regardless of your imperfections, you’re worthy of love and respect—from yourself and others.
The choice is yours.
You have two choices. You can let your inner critic completely dictate the way that you feel about yourself. Or you can choose to live your life knowing that you’re worth more than your negativity bias would have you believe. Choose the latter. Choose to be confident. And choose to love yourself no matter what.
Does your inner critic have you feeling a bit stressed? Read our blog post on habits to stop if you want to be stress-free!