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From Self-Critic to Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up (and Start Thriving!)

One of my worst flaws is being judgmental. That particular devil sits comfortably on my shoulder, regularly cataloging imperfections. 😈

And what am I most judgmental about?

Myself. Moi. Me.

And all the little errors I make in life.

One of my superpowers used to be turning a minor mistake into an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy.

Notice the past tense?

I've actually gotten better at this. Whoo hoo! 🎉🎉🎉 (we have to celebrate our achievements when we see them!)

Here's one of the ways I learned to do this. It's my 'go to' activity when my devil starts in on her self-critical routine.

❇️ First, stop and take a deep breath (in through the nose - 2 counts. Out through the mouth - 5 counts)

❇️ Imagine that someone you care about did the thing you're worried about and that they're feeling horrible and anxious.

❇️ Ask how you would respond to them. What would you feel? What would you say? What tone would you use?

❇️ Flip the narrative and speak to yourself using the same language and tone you would with this friend.

After all, shouldn't we consider ourselves best friends? Shouldn't we be as kind to ourselves as we are to others?

This activity doesn't stop my devil from having her say. 😈 Instead, it adds another voice to the story, bringing balance to how I perceive myself.

Next time you're turning a minor mistake into a catastrophe, give it a try!

And the next time after that, do it again. And again. And again.

It takes intentional focus and practice to break a habit. After all, how we talk to ourselves is nothing more than a habit.

You CAN do and be better in how you talk to yourself and treat yourself.

This activity is a variation I learned from Kristin Neff. Follow her for other self-compassion activities. A link to her website is in the comments.

Do you feel like you need someone to talk to on how to stay away from self critical routine?


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