Self Criticism. How To Reduce That Negative Self Talk

self criticism

Sometime a bit of self criticism can help us. We can use it as a tool to motivate us. For example you can use the “I need to work out more” as a positive but if you tell yourself that you are “fat and unworthy”, that is not motivating.

In fact it is dangerous to your health long term.

If we use constant EXCESSIVE negative self talk it will have a negative effect on us. It will force us to focus on negative aspects of ourselves rather than the positive. This will get worse and worse until we have little to no self esteem left!

The GREAT news is we can start to change our inner chatter. Let’s show you how.

1. Be AWARE of the words you say to yourself. If you find yourself saying something like “I am no good at public speaking” or “I am getting fat”, change it to “I gained alot of insight of how I can get better at public speaking” or “My clothes are getting tighter I must do some exercise”.

When we are aware of our self talk we can switch the meaning we put behind our words and reframe them to a more positive way of thinking.

2. If you start to chat to yourself and it is negative, STOP and ask yourself, what would the people you love and care about say about you? For example, if you were saying “I am fat and ugly and this means no one loves me” think about what your friends would say about you.

Do you REALLY think they are only your friends because of the way you look or do you think they see the inner beauty in you? Do you really think that because you have put on a kilo or two they will stop loving you.

If your friends are worth keeping around, the answer is OF COURSE NOT. They love you because of WHO you are not what you look like.

3. Embrace Your Imperfections. When we realise we are human and we can never do anything perfect it is enormously freeing (and a huge stress reducer) to stop holding yourself to insanely high standards. How good does it feel to let yourself off the hook?

Trying to be perfect is so destructive. We learn from our mistakes, we learn how do things by firstly doing them wrong.

This is how babies learn and we are the same as adults. How can we expect to get anything “perfect” when we have not done them before? The thing is MANY of us do!

We don’t tell toddlers when they are learning to walk that they are stupid, instead we say “well done, you took one step today” and the next day we say “well done you took two steps today”.

We give them LOVE and ENCOURAGEMENT and then they reach their goals. Why do we find this so hard for us to do for ourselves?

To really succeed in life we need a willingness to mess up and move on. We need to RELAX our standards a little and give ourselves the same empathy that we would give the toddler. Go on give it a go and see how differently you start thinking about yourself.

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Sharon WhiteSharon White

If you would like to learn more and work with me one on one I would love to work with you. I am passionate about people having a voice, being heard and creating the change you want in your life.

You can contact me at to see how I can help you. Sharon is the founder of Global Healing Exchange. You can work with her on her Emotional Freedom Program here.

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  1. IFS – internal family systems therapy is non pathologizing and works at a deeper level to heal underlying wounds that cause our inner and outer critics to become activated in order to protect our wounded parts. CBT is great for changing out negative thought patterns in the short term, but IFS works to actually heal our inner self, our core being so that we don’t keep developing new defenses every time our old wounds are activated or triggered. I highly recommend reading and listening to Dr Richard Schwartz who founded the IFS approach, which is being taken up more widely in recent years.


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