A recent article in the New York Times notes new research says we’re being too tough on ourselves. Studies are finding that to grow, improve, or produce more requires more compassion than criticism, even from ourselves. “In our culture, the unwritten message is that being hard on yourself is the price you have to pay to get things done and meet the often-impossible expectations, standards, and ideals we sometimes hold for ourselves,” author Laurie J. Cameron says. She offers these three keys to tame your inner critic:
- Make friends with the voice in your head. Realize the worrying, scolding voice is trying to help you, keep you out of trouble, and make sure you’re okay. Greet the voice with “Thank you. I know you are trying to help. I am okay. I’ve got this.”
- Realize you are not alone. It is part of our common experience to struggle or have hard times. Realizing you are not the only one to fail, experience job loss, drop the ball, hurt others, or make mistakes helps you see it is all part of being human.
- Deepen your self-awareness. Pay attention to the language you use to talk to yourself. Would you say that to a friend? Practice talking to yourself as a kind mentor or close friend would talk to you.
About the writer:
Laurie J. Cameron is author of “The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm, and Joy from Morning to Evening” and is founder and CEO of PurposeBlue. Used with permission.