In my work as a therapist I have noticed something that many of you will also be aware of. Most people are their own worst critics. Have you been criticising yourself for not being kind to yourself?
Take a moment to consider what this means. This is a paradox. You are criticising yourself and not taking care of yourself. Consider this too. Whose voice is that inner critic? Is it really your own?
Many people have internalised this inner critic and come to believe it is their own voice however the chances are this form of internal chatter really came originally from someone else. Usually this person was one of your primary care givers. In most cases this person genuinely was trying to help you and believed their comments to you were “for your own good”.
Today I invite you to make friends with your inner critic. (Please remember if you criticise your inner critic this is another way to be unkind to yourself).
Thank this internal part of yourself, recognise that this part of you was probably trying to protect you or help you do something or avoid something. It has good intentions.
Learn to notice when your inner critic is speaking to you. Acknowledge it and then ask a question.
“Is this criticism helping me right now, in the here and now”.
If it is, thank the critic and let it know you have taken note. Take the appropriate action gently and with self-compassion.
If the critic is out of date, thank the critic and let it know this advice can be archived.
Try out these steps over the next week or so and notice what happens. Next week I will share with you some ways to change how you hear your inner critic so that it no longer feels harsh.