Dealing with your worst critic: 5 steps you must commit to in order to overcome the negative self-talk

June 21, 2020 3 min read

“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.” Hillary Clinton

 

So what if the person criticizing you… is you? I don’t know about you but I am often my worst critic. If I had enemies that spoke to me like my inner voice does at times, I would swear I was being bullied. Be best, right…? So then why do I still allow these thoughts to continue? Because it is always what I have done? Well, I am working on stopping the negative self-talk but it can be harder than you think. However, I know it is not impossible. I truly believe I am getting better with turning off or at least turning down the negativity in my head. People often say that I am the first to call attention to my flaws. In the words of Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect –

 

Yeah, it is a funny way of taking the sting out of the negative things people could say to hurt your feelings. However, I have begun to look at it differently. Saying these things about myself to others is truly counterproductive. More importantly, saying those things to myself is even worse. Buddha said “All that we are, is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” How powerful is that! So am I self-sabotaging myself because my thoughts tell me that I cannot or will not achieve my goal? I never thought that my thoughts were affecting what I was able to accomplish. That my thoughts were keeping me stuck.

 

Knowing the impact my thoughts were having on my life, I decided that moving forward I would think of myself as a queen. Not the queen that wears a crown, waves, and kisses babies 

but rather the queen who knows her worth, who seeks continual growth, who realizes her gifts and shares them with the world to leave it better off for her having been in it. People tell me that I hold my head high and glide into a room; that my confidence is palpable. All that is true…now.

 

“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” Stephen Covey

 

It took thirty years, but I have learned to walk in my truth, hold my head high, show contrition by changed behavior, and be the best person I know how to be. I accept that I am not perfect and that I am a work in progress. Most importantly though, I no longer worry about what people are thinking about me. I now worry that I will fall below my standards and expectations of me, ultimately disappointing myself. In my quest of becoming, I will continue to work on silencing the critical voice in my head and learn to be my biggest cheerleader. I will learn that, if I allow myself to be negative; I will become the negative thing I am thinking.

 

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou

 

Therefore, I commit to:

  • Being mindful of the times my inner voice is extremely critical.
  • Being intentional about silencing and changing those thoughts.
  • Taking steps to change the thing causing the negative thoughts, if I can. If I cannot, taking steps to embrace that thing.
  • No longer worrying about what other people think about me.
  • Accepting myself wholeheartedly.
  • Understanding that perfection is not possible, but perseverance is.

 

“Recognizing that you are not where you want to be is a starting point to begin changing your life.” Deborah Day

 

The final word… You, as much as anyone else in the world, deserve your love and kindness.


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