How To Overcome Being Self-Critical With 6 Powerful 'Reframes'

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Self

Are you a perfectionist and self-critical? Do you find your "inner critic" saying things to yourself that you wouldn't say to your worst enemy?

Do you say "yes" to people when you wish you could say "no"?

As little girls, we are often raised with messages to "play it safe." The adults in our lives tell us to "be good." Sometimes we're told to "be quiet," that we "talk too much," or that we are "too much."

We, as women, hear and worry about too much-ness throughout our lives.

So, is it any wonder we grow up to be risk-averse, self-critical, people-pleasing perfectionists? Can you relate?

RELATED: 4 Types Of Self-Criticism That Damage Your Confidence And Sabotage Your Happiness

Being overly self-critical takes its toll. 

Maybe it's challenging to be happy with what you see in the mirror, to be satisfied with your hair, weight, or body shape.

Or you start a hobby, say, pottery, knitting, or painting, and find you can't enjoy it because your creations don't turn out the way you envision — they aren't "good enough."

Or you're out with friends and feel out of place. You "never" fit in, you think to yourself. There's a critical voice in your head, second-guessing everything you do or say, and everything others say to you!

You always feel like the awkward one.

Or you find yourself saying you'll take on a project on the PTA or at work that you don't want, but when they ask you, you can't say no. And once others realize you can't say "no," you find yourself with many projects you never wanted.

And then you feel resentful.

Perfectionism, self-criticism, and people-pleasing are signs of insecurity and low self-esteem. They can be detrimental to your love relationships, your career, and your success and happiness in life.

The good news is that you can overcome these perfectionistic and self-critical traits!

RELATED: 5 Ways To Quiet The Mean Little Voice Inside Your Head

Here are 6 powerful "reframes" to stop being self-critical.

1. Be aware.

Awareness is everything! Just being aware of an issue puts you on the road to addressing it!

2. Pay attention to your self-talk.

When you recognize that you wouldn't talk to your worst enemy this way, think about what you would say.

What's true? Instead of telling yourself, you're hopeless, maybe find a positive quality, even if it's merely recognizing that you keep trying, and don't give up!

3. Find others who treat you well.

If you realize that you are keeping company with people who are making negative comments to you all the time or "just joking" a lot, it's time to find new friends.

Find kind people who accept themselves and others without judgment and constant criticism or snarky remarks.

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4. Change your focus to positive things in your life and the world.

What we focus on expands. So, give your attention to some positive things. It will improve your mood and your quality of life!

5. Be grateful for the little things.

Going a step further, you might want to start a "Gratitude List." Find things, even small things, to be grateful for.

6. Lighten up!

It's not the end of the world if something you're working on doesn't work out. Holding space for imperfection frees us up to do more, try new activities, and risk imperfection or even failure.

"Failure" is a snapshot of a skill that's still evolving!

Confidence is an attractive quality.

Feeling better about yourself will allow you to dream and think about new things you'd like to do. These qualities make you an attractive person and you will begin to attract more positive people and experiences into your life due to this shift.

You'll be able to seek out new adventures, set new goals, and see yourself as a capable person. Reframing the way we think can empower us and lead to significant change!

If you find it challenging to get started on this path, you may want to seek a therapist or life coach to help you. They can help you practice skills and try out strategies to figure out what works for you!

RELATED: 12 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem & How It Affects Your Quality Of Life

Paula Kirsch, LMSW, CST, is an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist specializing in working with women and couples.

This article was originally published at paulakirschlmsw.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.