As a coach, I hear people talk negatively about themselves all the time. We’re all guilty of self criticism at some point, but what I want to point out is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes to speak down to yourself. And how are you going to thrive if you keep putting yourself down?
It’s time to clean up your self talk and let your light shine through — let’s look at some practical ways you can strike your self criticism and start showing up for yourself:
1. Take Ownership of What You Say to Yourself
We have 60,000-70,000 thoughts per day, and about 90% of them are the same thoughts we had the day before. How, then, can we possibly expect drastic change if we’re not taking consistent, honest ownership and action surrounding our self talk?
So much power comes back to you when you stop blaming others and point the finger to yourself. Recognizing and reframing your thoughts can help you be more mindful of the words you say and the impact they make on your life and become more intentional with your words.
2. Stop Saying You Don’t Have Time
To be clear, I create lifestyle transformations. They take quite an investment of time, along with a desire and willingness to change. I don’t work with people who say they don’t have time, unless they’re also seeking help from me on how to make more time in their lives.
The truth is, we can make time for the things that matter to us. Yes, it might take sacrifice, but stop believing that you don’t have time and recognize you’re choosing to say “No” to things.
3. Adjust Your “I Am” Statements
Fill in the blank: “I am _____.”
I recently did an experiment on social media and had my followers fill in the blank, and I got a LOT of negative responses: I am a procrastinator. I am always late. I’m a failure.
Really? You’re willing to say that about yourself? If you find these things unpleasant, why would you want to attach them to your identity?
I get it: you might have procrastinator tendencies, or you’ve failed hard in the past. But that shouldn’t define you as a person.
Reframing your “I am” statements can help you develop the identity you want and improve your overall quality of life.
4. Failure is Fantastic
Get used to failure — it happens to everyone. I recommend making it your new BFF so that you’re not afraid of it.
Failure is your biggest teacher. It tells you all the things that don’t work so you can learn valuable lessons and reassess to keep moving.
And remember, just because you failed doesn’t make you a failure.
5. Start with One Word at a Time
Busy. Tired. Bored. Uninspired.
We all have words that we need to remove from our vocabulary. These are the words that are cop outs, excuses, the words that tend to run our lives.
I recommend tackling them one at a time. For me, I traded “busy” for “full” or “abundant.” It makes me feel comfortable and intentional rather than chaotic. Pay attention to the words you continue to use that are holding you back from your goals and see how you can reframe them.
6. Use Mirror Praise to Fight Self Criticism
Stop standing in the mirror picking apart your skin or grabbing your belly bulge.
Instead, grab a pack of sticky notes and write yourself little memos on the things you love about yourself. I’ve embraced my bigger nose and the fact that my thighs touch, and my mirror reminds me every day.
Let your mirror help you celebrate what you consider your flaws. You’re likely the only one who sees them as flaws, anyway.
Self criticism can be toxic if you’re allowing negativity to become your identity. Being intentional with your thoughts and choosing to reframe how you approach your criticism can go a long way in personal growth.