Being my own critic for years, and having to overcome low self esteem, I’ve learned some helpful ways for how to stop criticizing yourself. I think as women, it’s natural for many of us to automatically see ourselves as inferior. From the media, to pressures in the workforce, to the constant need to provide for ourselves, and expectations from family, it can be tough to sort through things and see how amazing we all are, just as we are. If you need some helpful ways to learn how to stop criticizing yourself, try some of my tips below. They’ve helped me dramatically over the years and slowly, over time, I've learned to not be so critical of myself. Criticizing yourself gets you absolutely no where, so better to quit now and save yourself the heartache later!
1. Stop the Negative Talk
The very first thing to do when learning how to stop criticizing yourself is to stop with all the negative talk - immediately. Every time a negative thought enters your head, silence it and tell yourself that’s nonsense. This is hard to do, but over time, by constantly practicing this, you’ll soon see those negative thoughts of “ I can’t,” or “I shouldn’t," are pointless and not getting you anywhere but into a cycle of fear.
2. Find Your Talents
Next, in order to really hush those negative “voices” up, as I like to call them, try to think about things you’re really good at. It can be anything, silly or serious. Think about anything that you like about yourself, things that other people say you’re good at, or things that you find yourself inspired by. Concentrating on these things helps you see your strengths and talents. For me, my favorite things are writing, encouragement, and creating things. Concentrating on these things helps me to quit focusing on the fact I’m terribly late to almost every event I attend, that I’m not the best athlete and that my body will never ever look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Focusing on your strengths and talents is the best way to find out who you are and what you’re meant to do.
Next, to put your talents into active mode, play them back into the world. Find something to do with them, anything! If this means creating something like a blog, or volunteering somewhere, getting a job in the field you’re talented at, or joining a club or group that has the same interests as you, do it! Giving back your talents will not only benefit other people and the world, but also give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. It’s not about making yourself feel good, but instead, putting the talents you were given for a reason, into effective practice.
4. Be Honest
Be honest with yourself about something. Has criticizing yourself really ever gotten you anywhere? In my case, 20 years of it didn’t do anything for me. So, you know what? I finally figured, what’s the point? It’s not easy to just stop critisizing yourself, especially if other people do too. I was bullied in high school by other girls, which only contributed to my own low self esteem. Finally, I decided to get honest with myself a few years ago. I may not be perfect, but who cares? As long as I’m doing the best at what I’m good at, that’s all that matters. I think it’s important to always have an aspirational attitude, which I most definitely do, but you also have to accept you’re not Superwoman and think you can do it all perfectly.
5. Find Inspiration
The next thing I suggest anyone to do, is to start finding inspiration however you can. For me, this is through quotes that help me feel empowered, motivated and inspired to do things, change things, or see things in a different light. Whatever makes you feel inspired automatically silences those negative self critical thoughts.
6. Let Go of the Mirror Obsession
Next, if you’re self critical of your body, it’s time to let go of the mirror obsession. You know what I mean, right? The mirror obsession is where you look at yourself and your body in the mirror and see everything that needs to be changed. Stop that! I’m the world’s worst at this, but I’ve gotten better over time. Here’s what I find works: quit looking at things you wish you could change about your body, and instead think about things you like. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but over time, you’ll see it becomes easier, I promise.
7. Consider Your Loved Ones
If you have friends or a boyfriend, husband, family, etc. that constantly put you down, or even if it’s just a boss or co-worker, consider who you hang around with. I have to be honest, even family that criticize you sometimes need to be avoided for your own sake. Just because someone is related to you, doesn’t mean they will have a positive influence on you. If they’re not giving you loving advice and are being rude in their critical remarks, consider your relationship with them. If you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship or friendship, you need to really consider that relationship for your own health’s and emotion’s sake. It’s nearly impossible to stop criticizing yourself if others are doing it consistently without merit.
Low self esteem is one of the hardest things to overcome, and I can understand this more than you would know. If you have ever dealt with low self esteem, what is one thing you’ve found helpful in finding ways to stop criticizing yourself?