If you find yourself repeating toxic patterns and making the same mistakes, look no further than your inner critic. Judgmental, anxious, and bitter, the inner critic mimics the voices of our bullies. More often than not, this pesky voice retells the same stories about you and your worth time and time again. Eventually, you become desensitized to the script. Try using these tips to break the habit and change your inner narrative.
How Negative Thoughts Distort Reality
Negative thinking is tied to self-sabotage, and self-sabotage tends to come into play when the stakes are high. Think receiving an offer for a new job outside of your comfort zone, or deepening your relationship. Even if (especially if!) things are going well, you may talk yourself out of a great opportunity or let yourself down.
It may be frustrating to recognize that painful, invalidating experiences from childhood fuel your adult behaviors. But for many of us, attachment injury, emotional neglect, bullying, and small traumas over a lifetime underpin our negative thoughts. That little voice that tells you that you’re not good enough? That’s not your authentic self. That’s a distorted coping mechanism trying to protect you from rejection or an ostensibly devastating failure.
By anticipating the worst, our inner critic tries to keep us safe. In reality, giving in to negative thoughts leads to self-fulling prophecies and a lifetime of disappointment. Ultimately, by coming to terms with your trauma you can minimize the presence of your inner critic. You didn’t have a choice about your parents or life circumstances. But you do have a choice to be in dialogue with your thoughts instead of letting them shape your reality.
Four Inner Critic Phrases That Fuel Self-Defeat
What we think and speak makes a profound impact on our lives. If you find yourself using the following phrases often, you need to work on boosting your self-worth:
Feeling powerless often occurs when we award control of our happiness to something beyond ourselves. Minimizing our autonomy or sacrificing some of our core beliefs may seem trivial in the face of ‘love,’ acceptance, companionship, and status. But being disconnected from ourselves fuels the inner critic. Look closely at how your bonds from the past influence your present choices in relating. Moreover, feelings of helplessness are a sign that you don’t trust yourself. Divert self-doubt by identifying your strengths.
“I don’t know what I’m doing.”
If you’re grappling with failure, you may announce to yourself and others that “I don’t know what I’m doing.” Though you may want help, self-critical messaging makes you more likely to feel paralyzed by indecision and out of control. Before you fall into the negativity trap, grab a pen and paper and outline possible solutions to your problem.The Black Obsidian and Rose Quartz Triskelion Amulet helps you reconnect with your intuition by combining grounding energy with heart healing vibrations.
“My life is (a nightmare, awful, doomed…)”
Defining your life in these terms is a major energy drain. If a tough financial situation, a rocky relationship, or getting fired made you declare your life a waste, address your feelings for what they are: “XYZ has caused me great pain and suffering, but life itself has not.” If you only feel good about your life when things go your way, it’s time to reevaluate your approach. Gratitude journaling and witnessing the power of altruism through volunteering can lift your spirits.
“I just can’t help myself.”
Declaring yourself a victim to your thoughts, urges, and emotions indicates that you’re not taking accountability for your energy. In his book Be Nobody, Lama Marut suggests offering compassion to the “afflicted” side of yourself that rages or brings about harm. “'[Avoiding] the temptation to give in to the siren song of the afflictions” means finding a healthy outlet for critical thoughts and feelings. Exercising, deep breathing, identifying what triggers your moods, and talking it out can help you outwit self-sabotage.
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