It’s bad enough to be anxious or depressed. But what makes emotional pain so much worse is that we can’t just accept what’s going on inside our minds. We have to criticize ourselves for being afraid, angry, jealous, etc. That’s what really makes us feel bad; the inner critic
Let’s say something went wrong at work. One of your clients decided to go with another firm and you feel directly affected. It’s one thing to get over losing business. It means loss of income, loss of contacts, loss of reputation. It wouldn’t be so bad to just let it go and be done with it.
But that is usually not the end of the story. We started to feel like we should have known they weren’t happy. That it is something we did wrong, and it is solely our responsibility. We should have done this to prevent them from leaving, and that to find a quick replacement. Any time there is a “should have, could have, would have” message in our minds, it is the voice of our inner critic.
We criticize ourselves a lot and can’t forgive ourselves for not reading other people’s minds or for making a mistake. It is human nature to make mistakes; it’s just the way we’re connected. All we can do is learn from our mistakes so we don’t make the same ones over and over again.
We give ourselves messages like, “If only I was smarter, more cunning, more creative, etc. it would have been better. wear.” with, or… (fill in the blank), I would be happier or more successful.” We need to start paying attention to the “if only” messages and recognize them for what they are, beliefs opposed to the truth. .
What it takes to silence the self-critical voices in our heads is self-compassion.
We need to look at ourselves with the kindness and understanding that we would offer a child or a good friend. “Don’t worry so much,” we might tell ourselves. “You did everything you could, talked to everyone you could, and went out of your way to make the customer happy. Sometimes we can’t control all the factors, and I can’t know all the ins and outs of why they left our company. .”
It’s important to put yourself in someone’s shoes who will discourage you from blaming yourself and relentlessly criticizing yourself.
And using self-compassion is not just a psychological tool. There are real studies that have shown how positive an effect it has.
The new research concludes that self-compassion leads to a “significant positive association with self-reported measures of happiness, optimism, positive affect, wisdom, personal initiative, curiosity and exploration, agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness.”
If we can silence the voice of our inner critic, our entire self-image improves. We can reduce stress and fear, which leads to better sleep, healthier relationships, and greater success in the world.
Or, in scientific terms: “Self-compassion predicted significant variation in positive psychological health beyond that attributable to personality.”
If you are a forgiving person, start with yourself. Take a break; you will definitely feel better. If you are not a forgiving person, the best place to start learning to forgive is with yourself. Let kindness and gentleness towards yourself, rather than your inner critic become your new mantra!