Small Wins in Self- Esteem


Do you know your inner critic? Does she doubt, judge, belittle you? Does she tell you that you are not good enough? Does she say negative hurtful things to you—things that you would never ever dream of saying to anyone else?

A critic might seem useful, but really when she is within you, she can inhibit and limit you in such ways that you are robbed of your piece of mind and emotional well-being. When your inner critic consistently labels you in a negative way, it has a demoralizing effect on the larger self-concept of who you are and what you can be and do.

You may ask,” but what if my critic is right?” It doesn’t matter. Negative self-talk is never in your interest. There is always a kinder, better way to treat yourself that doesn’t involve negative labels and self-destructive mindsets.

To silence your inner critic:

1. Notice her during every conscious moment. Don’t let the negative thinking be automatic. Making the conscious effort to slow down and pay more attention to your thoughts and your emotions. Negative emotions such as doubt, guilt, shame, and worthlessness are almost always signs of your critic at work.

2. Separate the critic from you. She is not part of your authentic self. You were not born with her. She is a voice you have internalized based on outside influences such as other people’s criticism, expectations, or standards. Name her and call her out when you hear her.

3. Remove her power by talking back to her. Tell her you don’t want to hear what she has to say and what you are choosing instead is to be kind to yourself. No matter what the inner critic has said, you do have positive traits that need to be acknowledged. Replace the critic with a stronger ally: an inner voice that acts as a friend. Start noticing and actively seek out the good things about yourself. Make a deliberate effort to say something positive whenever you hear your critic. Become your own best friend!

2 Thoughts

  1. sheri says:

    Beautiful Louise!
    Thank you for this insight and these important actions to disarm our inner critic.

  2. Steve Root says:

    Very helpful. The negative thoughts can occur instantaneously and even outside of our awareness. Important to slow down and notice even if in process of a behavior that is the outcome of the negative thought.
    As a follow up to your post it would be helpful if you would write a blog about dealing with irrational self- beliefs and expectations Ie. “I need to be perfect” “I need to be liked by everyone”?

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