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Battling Your Inner Critic - Self Compassion Leads To Self Love

Mental Health

<p>Many of us have heard someone say, &ldquo;we are our own worst critic.&rdquo; While this phrase is repeated in our society until it feels as though it loses meaning, it still rings true. That little voice that resides in the darkest corners of our minds exists within all of us. No one is immune to this aspect of the human condition. However, the difference between people who seem to not have this voice at all versus those who are ruled by it is self compassion.</p> <p>We live in a society that defines self worth by productivity and perfectionism despite the fact that human beings are not infallible. Mistakes are a natural part of life despite the high standards society has set. When that little voice pipes up telling you that you fell short, you should have done better, you suck, and that you should just give up, you do have the power to ignore it and even silence it. Having compassion for yourself and the inevitable mistakes you make is actually the key to success.</p> <p>Self compassion is essentially taking your mistakes or faults and instead of scrutinizing yourself for them, utilizing a gentle, kind, and understanding approach to ease anxiety. Simply telling yourself, &ldquo;it&rsquo;s ok&rdquo; can work wonders at easing the anxiety that accompanies perceived failure. Now you may be thinking, &ldquo;That&rsquo;s all well and good, but I have no idea how to be nice to myself.&rdquo; Well, there are ways to trick your brain into making it easier to be kinder to yourself.</p> <p>One of the most effective ways to start practicing self compassion is to speak to yourself as though you are speaking to a close friend or, a younger version of yourself. Telling yourself that you are speaking to a friend is a great trick to make it easier to implement more compassion on yourself. You would never speak as harshly and cruelly to your best friend as you do to yourself. Therefore, why have you decided that it is ok to say these things to yourself. Acting like you are speaking to a younger version of yourself is another version of this tool. Imagine yourself at four or five years old. Would you tell your five year old self the same things your inner critic is telling you today? Absolutely not. There are many other tools to combat your inner critic such as meditation, positive affirmations, journaling and even talk therapy. All of these tips are wonderful things you can add to your toolbox, but it all starts with you and your desire to change your life and silence that noisy inner critic once and for all.</p>