You know those voices that keep you from doing anything? Or rather encourage you to go for it? They are our harshest critics. Unfortunately, we all have this incredible self-destruction pattern that keeps us from succeeding or makes us question our entire actions. It’s not nice, it’s not pleasant but it happens. Those moments when you’re scrolling down on Instagram and see someone who, apparently, has a better life than you. You start to wonder what you did wrong. And that’s when the problem starts. I often listen to that voice and, boy, is it annoying. If you too are sick and tired of listening to it, here’s how to hush your inner critic and be your best advocate.
One of our biggest problems is assuming. We often assume a person understands what we think when, probably, the issue is in our head. I can’t assume my husband knows why I’m mad at him, or that someone is going to have the same attitude I would. One step closer to being a happier and mentally healthier person is to never, ever, assume.
Believe in your experience and story.
We tend to overanalyze and over compare ourselves to everyone else. Take some time to think about your own story, life experience, personal gains and relationships. Build a narrative that works for you and that justifies the things you do, without comparing it to someone else’s. The reason why you still don’t have a paying job might be because you’re trying to build your own. Or the reason you stopped hanging out with someone was, maybe, because they weren’t adding anything positive to your life.
Be proud of your accomplishments.
I’m often caught up in the goals I haven’t achieve rather than focusing on the ones I have. It feels way better to think about the things you’ve done and crossed off your check list, than the things you still have to cross off. I used to feel overwhelmed and stressed when something I set up to do wasn’t done by the time I went to bed. My sleep would not be the same and I wasn’t resting well enough. Now, I try to feel content with the things I actually did and think, wow, that’s great. Think about that the next time you don’t answer that last e-mail or take time off to rest.
Make peace with your flaws.
This can be one of the hardest things we, as human beings, can do. Given that we are 24/7 in our own heads, we tend to exaggerate everything that goes on in there. The same way we assume people know we are mad, we also think they see our flaws like we do. Believe me when I say, it’s often way worse in our own heads. And maybe you’re overreacting to something they already forgot.
No social media for 24 hours.
Okay, this might seem a bit extreme. But I feel, and said it before, social media can be an amazing place to be and, at the same time, an awful one. Sure, we love to see what our friends are up to, or travel with other people’s pictures. But we can also end up in a spiral of self-hatred and throw a pity party because our life is not looking like that. We cannot compare ourselves, and even more when we don’t know the whole story. Something might seem amazingly perfect and then, there’s something not quite right. Take a day off from all of that to do things you enjoy and focus on yourself.
Search for positivity.
We shouldn’t only be positive but also be surrounded by positive people. If your friends or acquaintances aren’t elevating, challenging or motivating you, what’s the point? People are supposed to push each other in a healthy way. I love when my friends suggest books to read, movies to see or a great restaurant to try. Not only does it broaden your horizons, but also helps you learn more and feel more motivated.
Learn what you’re good at.
We can easily name our weaknesses and flaws, but when it comes to our strengths, that’s the real struggle. I can say that I’m obsessive, hypochondriac, an over-thinker, over-giver and under-sharer. But when it comes to my good qualities, I hit a wall. Maybe I know them, but won’t admite. It should not be harder to say what you’re good at rather than your flaws. Make sure you learn to say and list your qualities and strengths. Not only does it make you look more confident, it also makes you feel better and happier.