“The greatest gift you can give yourself is self belief.” Sarah Virag
You’re familiar with that irksome little trouble maker, aren’t you?
That persistent, annoying, sometimes paralysing inner critic?
It’s the snarky little voice inside that can ridicule and torment you about a hundred and one things – all at the same time.
Not to be confused with the quiet, calm inner voice, instead it’s the part of you that rejects progress, won’t let you succeed, have fun, let down your guard or take risks.
“Begone Inner Critic!”
Both as a Life Coach and in dealing with my own struggles over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that this inner critic is our worst enemy by far.
Self criticising thoughts seem to somehow multiply, brood and fester if we give them free rein. And before you know it, you‘re in a downward spiral of negativity. Have you experienced it?
Situations can seem to take on a whole new terrifying life of their own. Just awful!
And the worst part about your inner critic? It paralyses and throttles your real potential in life. Because when you feel hampered and chained by your own thoughts and mental roadblocks, how on earth can you be productive and successful?
… but what if I don’t get everything done on time?“
… but what if I don’t get the results I’m hoping for?”
… but what if my friends think I’m being lazy?”
So what can you do to manage unruly thoughts and boot those ‘but what ifs?’ into submission?
Start here, with 5 statements you should align yourself with the next time you’re aware of those negative trains of thought crowding in;
1. Choose to see downtime for what it is – essential.
In a busy world, our downtime can be limited and practically sacrosanct. Why? Because without it we can‘t hope to maintain our sanity and sense of self.
So don’t feel guilty for letting yourself off the hook. Curl up with a book at the end of the day instead of letting that little voice dictate another hour or two at your laptop. Go to the theatre, the gym, watch a bit of TV, go to bed earlier – whatever you need to step away from the feeling of always having to create and perform.
2. Realise that feeling good and upbeat is a mental game you can win at.
You can choose to be positive and turn those thoughts around. It takes effort and determination – and self awareness too. But you can do it!
3. Try to identify the source of your frustration.
Why are you feeling this way? Did you have an argument with someone? Are you disappointed about something? When you get to the source, you can usually take steps to turn the situation around.
4. Choose to be your own best friend.
My absolute favourite. There is huge power in the knowledge that ‘Team Me’ is always running in the background!
Encourage and cheerlead yourself back to a better mindset. Turn the tables on negative thinking.
5. Acknowledge that bad moods do not last forever.
Be easier on yourself. We all have days that are more positive than others. Low moods and negative thoughts, once they’re acknowledged, are much easier to shift and bounce back from.
So be self aware and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Remember – you are not your thoughts.
A negative frame of mind really can be turned on it’s head, released, rejected, thrown out – replaced. SAYONARA!
Don’t be afraid of negative thoughts. We all have them! Instead try to see them as a bit of temporary signal interference when you’re listening to your favourite channel on the radio;
Fiddle around with the dial a little, be patient.
Normal service will soon be resumed.
If you’d like more reading on a related topic, dive into one of these previous articles:
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