Improving self-esteem and dealing with self-conversations
Accept or deny, you are constantly judged and criticized. You can shout it on a loudspeaker that, ‘You never judge anyone’. The reality is all of us judge each other from the moment we get to know each other. If this is not enough, we have self-criticisms that run parallelly. All this cohesively has a malign impact on our self-esteem. Regardless of what the external world says, if the little inner voice understands you, there is nothing that can stop you from living a happy and content life.
It is very rare that we appreciate ourselves and look up to the best qualities and strengths of our personality. Most often, the self-criticism has been negative talk with the inner voice. The inner voice is tuned to your thoughts. For example, if you have a problem with your partner. Your partner is blaming you for everything and putting you down. You blame yourself for all the chaos, with accusations, such as, ‘Maybe I am wrong. I don’t think I am likable or attractive. Maybe I just don’t deserve this relationship’. The inner voice will also talk to you in the same manner. What and how you value yourself, that is how others are going to value you.
Our self-esteem impacts our confidence, interactions with other people, and most importantly, how peacefully you lead your life. If we constantly criticize ourselves, our self-esteem will be extremely low. Low self-esteem can lead to depression, mental health disorders, loss of confidence, limited thinking, relationship challenges, etc. In this journey of self-criticism, we are usually too hard on ourselves. The more the negative talk, the more inner voice will be unsympathetic towards you. Words are the seeds that you put for yourself. Imagine you use the below words, and try to say it aloud, slowly and steadily.
As you read these words, did you feel how it impact your mood, your confidence, and your thought process? Yes, it is true that self-criticism is needed. But, where do we draw the line and when it becomes a negative and harmful talk for the mental health must be watched judiciously. If you are aware of yourself, even the external criticism, good or bad, won’t impact you much. You can take it with a pinch of salt and always stay grounded.
Dealing with Self-Criticism
Self-criticism is very natural. So, don’t get bogged down. Here are a few ways you can adopt to keep track of your thoughts and emotions and ensure you say the positive and uplifting statements for yourself.
- Firstly, spot the thoughts as they happen, and simultaneously create alternatives for the same.
- Treat yourself with respect as the thoughts penetrate. Accept yourself and be kind.
- Journal your self-critical thoughts and monitor the factors that impact your self-esteem.
- Don’t allow the demon inside you to take over your thoughts, and change the negativity to neutrality.
- Think your inner little voice as your friend, and not an enemy.
All these will create a larger self-awareness and achieve personal growth. A constructive and positive self-criticism shall facilitate the process of grooming yourself. Change the negative statements to positive thoughts. Remember to say these positive statements aloud:
- ‘I can’t do anything’ to ‘I can do something that’s in my hands’.
- ‘I am a failure’ to ‘I might fail today, but tomorrow I can try again and succeed’.
- ‘I’ll never get better’ to ‘I am getting better slowly and steadily, even though it takes a little time’.
Self-criticism must be a self-therapy that you give it for yourself. Only you know yourself, and only you could give the love and respect that your soul needs. Have a good relationship with yourself, that is when you can have a healthy relationship with the external world.