For some people, the harshest critic you’ll ever face is yourself.
In this blog post we’ll discuss what has led to you to become so self-critical and ways to help you break the habit.
Why am I like this?
Some of the main reasons that people are so self-critical include:
- Low self esteem
- Depression and anxiety
- Impossible expectations
- Fear of failure
If this sounds like you, you’re also likely to be constantly pushing yourself to the extreme, and in turn practising some pretty unhealthy habits to cope, such as smoking or having an unbalanced diet.
It’s important to be able to identify why you might be acting like this - acknowledging that you want to change is the first step in the right direction.
Why do I need to stop?
Self criticism can manifest in any area of your life, such as:
- In the workplace
- Within your family
- Within your relationships
- Within your self confidence
- At school and university
Chances are, if you’re someone who is incredibly critical of yourself, you’re not only letting it burden you, but you’re manifesting it into your loved one’s lives too.
Being your own worst critic can lead to “burn out” and an array of other health issues that can range from stress induced nausea to intense headaches to panic attacks.
Luckily, there are ways to stop being so self-critical.
How do I break this habit?
When creating a new habit, it doesn’t stick overnight.
So in the same regard, understand that breaking habits also don’t happen overnight - according to research conducted in the past decade, it actually takes closer to 3 months to make or break a habit.
You need to ask yourself:
- Is being my own worst critic contributing positively to the outcome I want?
- Is being my own worst critic going to be beneficial for me in the long-term?
- Is being my own worst critic beneficial for me in my life right now?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, read them again and let yourself give an honest answer.
Understanding that it’s going to take time and patience to break this habit is the hardest pill to swallow, but once you’ve passed this stage you can move forward and utilise the tools below to stop being your own worst critic.
Tools for change
First off, identify the things you can and cannot control.
Focus your time and effort into the areas in your life you can control, such as your mindset, the way you treat others, and how you treat your body and allow yourself to let go of the things you can’t control.
Don’t waste your time and energy!
Secondly, take up journaling.
Journaling is not only a therapeutic activity but it also allows you to look at what you’re experiencing internally. Putting pen to paper helps to regulate your emotions and promotes mindfulness.
It sounds too good to be true, but trust us when we say journaling will change your life - Check out our blog on how to get started with journaling right here - we also have an amazing range of notebooks to inspire you, too!
Thirdly, take time out for yourself.
You’re not ‘being lazy’ for prioritising yourself, it’s time to normalize self-compassion.
Taking a night off, or cancelling plans to spend some much needed time catching up on your latest Netflix binge is nothing to be ashamed of - it’s like hitting the reset button on yourself.
How can you expect yourself to deliver the best quality of work, and be there for your friends and family, when you can’t even be there for yourself (spoiler - you can’t!)
Other helpful tips include:
- Set intentions and say them out loud to yourself each morning
- Practise breathing exercises to stay grounded
- Express gratitude - to yourself and those around you
- Seek help from a counsellor or therapist
For further help, check out our blog post - How to Create Meaningful Goals for 2021