Day 7 – Write Down and Examine Your Most Critical Thoughts
Getting a handle on your inner critic involves awareness, confidence, and planning. Once you become aware of your patterns of negative self-thought, you can work to turn that thinking around to something more useful. You’ll then feel better about yourself, and your confidence is likely to soar once you’re able to let go of all that self-loathing commentary. You’ll begin to develop a plan for dealing with the negativity for good. All of this is a process, though. It requires some time and organization. Check out the tips below to create your own plan for dealing with your most critical thoughts.
Some Criticism is Good
First, it’s important to understand that some criticism is good. Constructive criticism can actually help you to identify limitations and create goals to work toward. This type of critique is specific. It points out particular areas that need attention. Your inner critic isn’t helpful or wise. It’s usually just plain mean. Its messages come from emotions like fear, insecurity, doubt, and loneliness. “You’re no good at anything,” is vague and definitely doesn’t fall under the constructive type of criticism. This type of blanket statement also doesn’t give you any sort of goal or action to work toward. It doesn’t motivate you to work for your goals or to try anything new. Its purpose is to keep you in place.
Make a List
Lists are wonderful. They allow you to organize all the information that’s floating around in your head, which can provide much-needed perspective and insight. Make a list of your most frequent self-criticisms, along with the suspected root of those messages. This will allow you to look for patterns and note your trouble spots. Once you’ve done this self-examination, go to a new page and write down specific issues that may be true or relevant among your problems. Consider which are genuinely things you can work on or that have a solution. Perhaps you are unhappy in your current career and you’re afraid you won’t be able to get a different type of job or promotion. Are there legitimate reasons why that is? Write down what’s holding you back. Lack of education or skills is something you can work on. Your fear of public speaking is also something that can be overcome. Brainstorm solutions to the problems you discover.
Hopefully, this exercise is empowering for you. It’s meant to show you that your inner critic is usually wrong and that you can escape the messages it gives you once you understand them. There are ways to shut your critic up and move forward.