Your inner critic is a talkative, hateful monster. It is camping out inside your brain and just waiting for the opportunity to make you feel like garbage. Every awkward phone call, every ill-fitting piece of clothing you try on, every fight you have with your best friend – your inner critic thrives in these situations and uses them as a way to break your soul into a million miserable pieces. Don’t let it win. Instead, embrace positive self-talk.
The thing is, this monster is not real and it certainly isn’t right… about anything. It isn’t a section of your mind that holds any heightened level of awareness to offer useful information. It’s so so easy to believe it when it tells you that you’re worthless and will never achieve success, but it’s not a magic eight ball. Your inner critic is essentially Jon Snow, and KNOWS NOTHING about your potential or what lies ahead.
The voice is so loud, however, that it can be impossible to ignore. In a room full of people shouting bits of kindness, you will only hear the one person offering a statement of cruelty, because unfortunately, that’s how human beings are programmed. Much like it’s easier to sit on the couch all day and do nothing, it’s easier to allow your mind monster to obliterate your self-confidence and motivation. It takes effort to get up off the couch and maintain physical health. It also takes effort to challenge your inner critic on every negative thought, but in the end, you need to in order to get anywhere. Here are all the things you need to tell yourself when your inner critic must be silenced.
- Actually, you ARE beautiful.
Beauty is subjective, but quite honestly, everyone is beautiful because everyone is unique. I realize how flowery that sounds, but it’s true. In fact, we’re entering a time in which people of all sizes are being celebrated, and the more unique you are, the more unforgettable you become. Everyone who celebrates the body they were given is beautiful, no matter what that body looks like.
- No, you don’t need to lose weight in order to be happy.
Maybe medically, you need to lose a little weight in order to be healthy, but that’s completely different. Happiness will never be achieved if you “only lose three more pounds.” Happiness comes when you can feel comfortable in your own skin. Continuously chasing a smaller pants size will only take you so far on the road to happiness, so know when to stop and when to say, “I’m good enough, just like this.”
- You deserve everything wonderful.
If you’re carrying even an ounce of regret, your inner monster will glob onto it like an energy source and will infect any good moment with doubt. Whatever it is, let it go. Because the past is the past and you need to look ahead. If you need to make amends in order to move on, then do so. But just know that you absolutely deserve all the great things in life.
- Those who don’t believe in you will soon be sorely mistaken.
Rejection hurts. However, it happens only to those who are brave enough to put themselves out there and be vulnerable. There’s nothing braver than open vulnerability and if you offer that to someone and they’re blind enough to say, “thanks but no thanks,” then just know that someday they’ll see you making your dreams come true and they’ll regret letting you get away. This applies to professional rejection as much as it does to personal.
- Tomorrow will be better.
If you’re having an awful, terrible, no good, very bad day, then tomorrow can’t be worse than this, right? It’s impossible to remain in your “rock bottom” place because the will to survive for the human race is so strong that you’ll figure out a way to improve your situation no matter what. And that improvement is just a good nights’ sleep away.
- Wrong. Everything is not “THE WORST.”
I know this is a trendy and cute way to complain right now, but if your inner critic is telling you this, your response should be a simple: “No, it’s not the worst. Stop exaggerating.” Because there are people out there who are starving, dying of incurable diseases, and are taking fire on enemy lines to preserve your freedom. And they probably have better outlooks on life than you do right now.
- You will not let failure defeat you.
Everyone who has ever achieved any form of greatness as failed in order to get there. Quitters are the only ones who have truly failed because they stopped trying. Don’t stop trying, and your inner critic will be proven wrong.
- People DO love you.
You have at least one friend or family member whom would be utterly lost without you. Even if that friend or family member is a furry animal on four legs, they appreciate you for you. If they haven’t given up on you, then you can’t give up on yourself.
- And finally, just “SHUT. UP.”
Bullies respond to strength, and your inner critic is the biggest bully of all because you can never get away from it. So remind your monster that YOU are the one in charge here and it needs to stop talking, because you are no longer listening.
Chrissa Hardy is a freelance writer, editor, and a former New Hampshire-ite currently residing in Southern California. She suffers from separation anxiety and can't bear to be away from her dog for more than 20 minutes. Her dog doesn't seem to care either way. Her favorite time of year is "hoodie season" and she orders a side of coleslaw with just about everything.