How To Tame Your Inner Critic - Self-Compassion 101Oct 20, 2021
"I'm such an idiot!" "No wonder no one likes me." "I'm disgusting." - I used to repeat all those statements (and more) over and over again. I didn't even need to fail or do something wrong to start talking to myself like that.
I'm sure you know that voice too! That inner critic, your ego, that diminishes every accomplishment you reach and criticizes the actions you take throughout the day. You might not even be aware of how often your ego takes over control.
My ego and I, we used to fight a constant battle. Sometimes I realized how badly I was talking to myself, other times it wasn't as obvious. But what I noticed was that no matter how good or bad I did things, the voice could come up the same way because, in the end, I'd always find someone who did it better.
Mistakes and failures are part of human life. They are inevitable so why do we destroy ourselves internally for them? Wouldn't life be so much better if we were to speak to ourselves with the same respect, kindness, and love as we would when talking to a loved one?
I truly hope that this blog post will help you become aware of how you currently talk to yourself and inspire you to focus on self-compassion over self-criticism.
What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion requires us to give ourselves unconditional kindness and support throughout all human experiences. Just as we can be compassionate towards others we can be so towards ourselves.
When we feel compassion for others, we experience feelings of kindness, support, and empathy to words them. We want to help them through their moments of suffering. We don't want to criticize and judge them.
Rather than condemning ourselves for our mistakes and failures, we can choose to treat ourselves like we would our loved ones. Self-compassion creates a safe space within you that is free of judgment, perfectionism, and comparison. A place that allows you to navigate those experiences with kindness and love.
Now, how come that instead of being kind to ourselves and opening the doors to all those wonderful experiences we choose to beat ourselves up?
How Self-Compassion Benefits You
1. Increases Motivation
A common misconception about self-compassion is that it takes away our motivation. We kind of got taught that we need our inner critic to keep us motivated otherwise we would easily fall off track.
In reality, being compassionate with ourselves can provide us with a much stronger, healthier, and of course kinder motivation. This kind of motivation stems from our internal desire to be better, to grow, and to expand.
Yes, fear can be a good motivator. But self-criticism, unlike self-compassion, undermines your self-efficacy beliefs. If you constantly put yourself down you'll begin to lose faith in your abilities and how far you can go.
2. Boosts Optimism & Happiness
When you're more compassionate with yourself your inner happiness, as well as your optimism, will increase significantly. After all, you're no longer criticizing nor judging yourself.
Compassionate people are fully aware that they are not the only ones who make mistakes, who face challenges. If you can accept this and treat yourself with the kindness and respect you deserve you'll feel much more at ease.
3. Builds Resilience
Studies have shown that self-compassion is a powerful tool for dealing with our emotions. It can help us gain control over how we react emotionally.
Self-compassion tends to lead to positive rather than negative emotions. People who show high levels of self-compassion are less likely to experience anxiety and depression.
It's not about turning off emotions but acknowledging and seeing them as part of the human experience. We turn inwards to heal our suffering.
How To Practice Self-Compassion
Now that we've covered some of the benefits, I also want to share with you how you can best start being more compassionate with yourself.
If you're not able to be compassionate with yourself, it will be hard to manifest your dream reality. As I like to say, it all starts from within. To successfully manifest your desires you need to do it from a place of self-love and self-compassion helps you get there.
According to Dr. Kristin Neff a leading researcher in the field, self-compassion has 3 core elements.
- Self-kindness vs self-judgment
- Common humanity vs. Isolation
- Mindfulness vs. Over-identification
1. Be kind to yourself
Be kind and understanding to yourself rather than ignoring your inner pain and criticizing yourself.
Making mistakes is inevitable and things won't always go as planned. Don't fight against it. It only makes you feel more stressed and anxious. Accept it and treat yourself with the sympathy and kindness you deserve.
2. Embrace your common humanity
Recognize that you are not alone in your struggles. Especially when facing challenges, we tend to forget that we're not the only ones with problems.
Remember that making mistakes is part of our human experience, without them we wouldn't be able to grow and expand. You are not alone in this, never forget this.
3. Be mindful
Take a balanced approach to negative emotions and don't suppress nor exaggerate your feelings. The universe is all about balance and we need to honor both sides of things.
See things from a point of balance by relating your experience to those of others, making you mindful it happens to others too. But also, examine your thoughts and emotions without judgment or trying to suppress them.
Awareness journal prompts
Use these questions to become aware of how you currently react to yourself and your life.
If you want to change how things are going in your life it's so important to always start with awareness of how the current situation is.
- What things do you typically judge and criticize yourself for? (e.g. appearance, relationships, career, etc.)
- What type of language do you use when you realize you made a mistake? Do you insult yourself? Do you take a more kind and supportive tone?
- If you identified that you're very self-critical, how does this make you feel inside?
- How do you think you would feel if you could truly accept yourself as you are?
Learn How To Unblock Your Limiting Beliefs To Successfully Manifest Your Desires
Download the FREE PDF-GUIDE below and learn more about how you can unblock your limiting beliefs and turn them into loving, supporting ones.
If you want to manifest more of what you want instead of what you don't, you need to start working on your inner world.
Our thoughts turn into beliefs, those turn into actions which then turn into your reality. Master your mindset, become that energetic match and start living in your dream reality.
It is possible. You just need to work on the foundation (your beliefs) if you haven't seen success yet but want to. And I know you do.