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August 2, 2021
Saying Is Believing: Self-Criticism And How To Stop It

Shift Team

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Combating Your Inner Critic

Did you know we have more than 50,000 thoughts a day? Most of them are automatic, of course, but our inner monologue is also part of those many daily thoughts. This self-talk has implications that affect our emotions, motivation and future accomplishments. Problems arise when our self-talk becomes negative and starts to reinforce the irrational or negative ideas that we have about ourselves and our relationships.

"If we talked to our friends in the same way that we talk to ourselves, we would not have any friends."

The first step in combating our self-defeating inner critic is to start becoming aware of when these thoughts arise. Here are some guidelines to challenge that negativity and lessen the impact of your critical inner voice.

1. Challenge your thought

  • What is my evidence for and against my thinking?
  • Are my thoughts factual, or are they just my interpretation of the situation or event?
  • Am I jumping to conclusions? Mind reading? Predicting the future?
  • How can I find out if my thoughts are actually true?

2. Look for alternative explanations

  • Are there any other ways that I could look at this situation?
  • If I were being positive, how would I perceive this situation?
  • What would I tell a friend or loved one who has a similar experience?

3. Put it in perspective

  • Is this situation as bad as I am making out to be?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is it?
  • What is the best thing that could happen?
  • What is most likely to happen?
  • Is there anything good about this situation?
  • Will this matter in five years? 

By acknowledging your self-critical voice and challenging its observations, you have the opportunity to create a change in how you relate to yourself and the world around you

This article was written by Annie Amirault during their time at Shift Collab.

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