4 Steps to Silence Your Self-Critic Identify the self-criticism in your mind. Pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day and make a note of it whenever you hear yourself put yourself down. Being aware of this negative self-talk gives you the power to take control and stop judging yourself as "not good enough." Notice how many times a day you criticize yourself. Write down every feeling you experience. Tally them up at the end of the day for a period of seven days. At the end of seven days, you will have quantifiable numbers and an actual visual of how destructive your critical mindset really is to your self-esteem. Use this information as a motivator and to develop realistic goals to improve your self-esteem. Start to see your positive qualities. Focus on your positive qualities, instead of obsessing about your negatives. Noticing the positives rather than the negatives can be very powerful. If you're not used to noticing your positives, this will seem really awkward and take some practice at first, but as you get the "hang of it," you will start feeling better about yourself. You can then begin to re-write your self-esteem story and re-author your life from a life of disappointments to a life of growth and success- the guilt and shame will disappear. Stop comparing yourself to others. Accept yourself as you are- as a perfectly, imperfect human being trying your best with the noblest of intentions. Don't set yourself up to feel "less than" everyone else because it's a "sure fire" way to guarantee that you will feel "less than." This is because everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. If you compare yourself to someone who has God-given talents in specific professions, it would be like comparing apples to oranges. To demonstrate what I mean, think about comparing yourself to Oprah Winfrey as a talk show host. She's the best in the business. If you compared yourself to someone who is the best in their business, there is no way you will feel like you measure up. Oprah would be the apple and you would be the orange. She may be best talk show host, but you may be a really great writer, dancer, singer, manager, teacher, mother, or wife. There is at least one thing that you're really good at that most people wouldn't even come close to. Discover what your special talent is and focus on that. Set realistic expectations and goals. Strive to be the best you can be, not what someone else is or what someone else wants you to be. Get to know yourself well by taking the time to introspect, rest, and care for your body. Learn how to meditate, join a yoga class, or keep a journal. If experiences from the past affect your present, consider getting a coach or counselor to resolve emotional issues that may be blocking or skewing your perception of who you really are. When you know yourself well, your awareness of your strengths and weaknesses will be clear. You will then be able to set realistic expectations of yourself and not set yourself up for failure. Be patient with yourself. Understand that we're all a work in progress and remember, your story is unfinished... and the best is yet to come!
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