One of the hardest things to learn in life is how to be compassionate with ourselves. This simple skill can often take a lifetime of dedicated practice, especially when we are used to being more self-critical than self-supportive. It is easy for us, as spiritual and holistic souls who are empaths and sensitives, to get caught up in constant self-criticism due to our deep capacity for empathy. Sometimes, our emotions may not even be our own, but this negative reaction does not have to dominate our lives if we can turn it into something positive.

Now, here are ways that criticism can creep into your daily life and actionable steps you can use.

The Signs of Self-Criticism – Recognising that You’re Being Too Hard on Yourself

Being self-critical can be a good thing sometimes. It can help you push yourself to be better and achieve your goals. However, when we’re constantly criticising ourselves, it can quickly become harmful. It’s important to recognize when we’re being too hard on ourselves and take steps to address it. Signs of self-criticism can include constantly dwelling on mistakes, feeling like everything you do isn’t good enough, and comparing yourself to others. It’s important to remember to be compassionate and kind to ourselves and to practise self-care. By recognizing the signs of self-criticism and taking steps to address it, we can improve our mental health and overall well-being.

Understand Why You Feel the Need to Criticise Yourself and Where it Comes From

It’s easy to fall into the habit of criticising ourselves, but where does this need to tear ourselves down come from? Understanding the root of our negative self-talk can be a powerful tool for breaking free from it. Perhaps we were raised in an environment where criticism and perfectionism were the norms. Or maybe we’ve experienced past traumas or failures that have left us feeling unworthy. Whatever the cause, it’s important to recognise that self-criticism does not serve us at all, and can even hold us back from reaching our full potential. With self-awareness and compassionate self-talk, we can shift our mindset and learn to love and appreciate ourselves for who we are.

Reframe Your Thoughts with Positive Affirmations

Our thoughts have a powerful impact on our lives. How we perceive ourselves and our abilities can determine the course of our actions and even our future. That’s why it’s important to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones. Positive affirmations are a great way to do just that. By repeating positive statements to ourselves, we can shift our mindset and create a more optimistic outlook on life. However, it’s important to choose affirmations that are relevant to our goals and aspirations. With regular practice, positive affirmations can become a natural part of our daily routine, empowering us to achieve the success we desire.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and Embrace Vulnerability

Now this can definitely be a hard one to do, but stepping outside our comfort zone can be a daunting task for many. However, it is necessary for growth and self-development. Embracing vulnerability is one way to do just that. It means allowing ourselves to be open and honest with others about our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, even if they make us feel uncertain or uncomfortable. When we embrace vulnerability, we allow others to connect with us on a deeper level and build meaningful relationships. It can be scary to put ourselves out there, but the rewards are often worth the risk.

Break the Cycle of Self-Criticism by Focusing on Gratitude

We’ve all experienced moments where we’re overly critical of ourselves – those days where our inner voice seems to be on a constant loop of self-denigration. It’s easy to get caught up in this negative cycle, but what if we could break it? One effective strategy is to shift our focus to gratitude. By taking the time to appreciate the positive things in our lives, we can interrupt the pattern of self-criticism and become more self-aware. Practising gratitude can also boost our mood and help us to feel more connected to others. So next time you catch yourself being overly critical, try taking a moment to reflect on all the things you’re grateful for or what you are good at. You might be surprised by how quickly your perspective changes.

Take Time For Self-Care – Prioritise What You Enjoy Doing Most

Don’t forget that self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. I want to emphasise that self-care is not selfish. Although I worked in the beauty industry, where self-care is promoted, I struggled with practising it myself, which may seem surprising. But there is a difference between self-care and deep self-love and nurturing; I could do this for others but never for myself until I realised I had a self-neglect wound and needed to work on inner child stuff around caretaking of others but not myself.

Self Care is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, but it is important to take a step back and prioritise what makes you happy. Whether it’s reading your favourite book, going for a long walk, or taking a relaxing bath, these simple acts of self-care can make all the difference. By taking the time to engage in activities that bring you joy, you can recharge your batteries and feel more energetic, focused, and fulfilled.

Self-criticism may seem like a difficult vice to overcome, but it does not have to define you or limit your progress. We all experience moments of self-doubt and negative thoughts, but the key is to recognise the signs and learn how to respond in healthy ways. By identifying the sources of these harsh criticisms, reframing our thoughts with positive affirmations, embracing vulnerability and risk-taking, being grateful for what we have, and prioritising ourselves through self-care – we can break away from the cycle of harmful self-criticism. You are capable of change – take the power back and make strides towards feeling more confident and kinder towards yourself!