Dealing with Self Criticism

Dealing with Self Criticism

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Is your internal monologue friendly, calm and encouraging?  Or critical and bullying?  Too many of us are quietly, privately, hard on ourselves. We walk around with an inner critic, telling us we’re not ‘good enough’.

It’s not your fault all this stuff is going on in your head but it is your responsibility to drive carefully.  For example, in a snowstorm, it’s important to pause, take stock and drive carefully.

We don’t choose how we’re brought up, what’s happened, but we can become more aware and learn to be compassionate, go gently and be kinder to ourselves.  We can learn to talk to ourselves just as we would to a good friend.

Self compassion is not self care, in the superficial chocolates and bubble bath sense, nor is it simply being kind.  Paul Gilbert, a clinical psychologist and founder of the Compassionate Mind Foundation, says compassion is best understood as turning towards suffering, whether it is in yourself or others and taking action to alleviate it.  Always treat the resistance as a wisdom.  Learn to recognise the emotion systems of Threat (avoid harm/loss/injury), Drive (earn, etc), Rest & Digest (rest, slow breathe).  Learn how to use Rest & Digest to support yourself especially in Threat, eg. Slow breathing and tell yourself, it’s ok.

Take yourself and your suffering seriously – your mind is like water and it can contain poison or other.  Water is clear.  Just like with water, learn to be intentional around what feeds your mind, rather than harmful.

Recognise that each of us has a ‘tricky’ brain, with thoughts like ‘if only I’d …’, ‘I should have …’ and these trigger threat, fight or flight.  So when the feelings of threat arise, how can you take a pause, recognise the feeling, and go gently with yourself.

Below is a link to a very useful article on this