HOW I BATTLE SELF CRITICISM

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I just landed back from Spain ( incredible by the way if you haven’t visited ), and I am back to work! …and ya know, after a vacation, going back to work is never easy. I USED to get overwhelmed, I USED to panic, I USED to avoid looking at my to-do list.

No more - well, for the most part.

I USED to panic because I was so unbelievably hard on myself, you know? We are hard on ourselves because we are constantly CRITICIZING ourselves, ok?

My old thoughts:

  • “What if I don’t get this done?”

  • “My clients are going to leave me.”

  • “I took on too much.”

  • “Maybe I’m horrible at my job.”

  • “What if my work isn’t good enough.”

Ok… to be entirely honest, I still do have these thoughts from time to time because it’s NORMAL guys.

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Those negative thoughts are ALL self-criticism & this ( coming back to work after vacation ) situation is JUST an example.

I want to change your perspective on self-criticism. I used to look at it as a bad thing as you can see from what I just told you above…

…but if you think about it, we criticize ourselves because we hold ourselves to such high expectations, ya know?

Which isn’t always a bad thing ( in my opinion ).

  • It CAN push us to learn

  • It CAN push us to grow

  • It CAN push us closer to our goals

It becomes HARMFUL when we allow self-criticism to control our life + decisions.

What if we begin to look at self-criticism as an opportunity to analyze our growth?

What if we begin to look at self-criticism as a positive?

What if we look at self-criticism in a CONSTRUCTIVE way to improve to help us get to where we want in life?

Think about that for a second.

…what I do to battle self-criticism is…

CHANGE MY PERSPECTIVE.

Instead of telling myself, “what if I don’t get this done?” I ASK myself, “how can I be most efficient?”

Instead of telling myself, “my clients are going to leave me.” I ASK myself, “well, why?”

I challenge my belief + think, “how can I improve my services?” or I simply ASK them if they are satisfied. It’s TOO easy to get caught up in our minds, but STOP. Literally STOP, and begin challenging yourself.

Instead of telling myself, “I took on too much work.” I TELL myself, “clearly I’m doing something right to even have this work in the first place and now I just have to find a system to get this done!”

Instead of telling myself, “maybe I’m horrible at my job.” I CHALLENGE my beliefs.

The way to change your perspective is to challenge your beliefs, find solutions and look at self-criticism as a form of CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM to become to best version of yourself.

It becomes unhealthy when we ALLOW those negative thoughts to dictate our lives, and worse, when we believe them.

…but guys, take a step back. Really put those beliefs into perspective.

I am the QUEEN of being tough on myself. I have EXTREMELY high expectations & standards that a lot of you might see as unrealistic.

The BEST thing that I ever did was challenge my beliefs and change my perspective on criticism.

Self-criticism doesn’t always apply to work and I want to acknowledge that. We criticize ourselves on many levels to the point that it can impact our self-confidence.

  • “I’m not good enough.”

  • “I’m fat.”

  • “I’m ugly.”

  • “I didn’t get that job because I can’t communicate.”

  • “I’ll never succeed.”

  • “I’ll never reach my goals.”

  • “I shouldn’t have eaten that cake.”

  • “Ugh. I should have gone to the gym.”

Ok… honestly, these are a little generic, but SO relatable, ok? ANY negative thought that you tell yourself is self-criticism.

Next time you NOTICE those thoughts running through your head:

  1. Acknowledge the thought

  2. Challenge the thought

  3. Find a solution!

…don’t worry, here is the twist!

Literally ( I know I say this word a lot ) write down 5 reasons to challenge those negative thoughts.

NOT ONLY THAT -

  • Go purchase a little journal to keep with you at all times

  • A fun little pen ( I mean you can totally use your phone to do this, but I like to make it fun to keep me committed )

…and ANY TIME a negative thought comes through your head, challenge it in that book.

  • Something else that I like to do is use post-it notes.

  • Write your negative belief on a post-it note

  • Cross that shit out

  • Underneath, write the challenge

  • You can put it on the mirror in your bathroom ( or if you are a bit OCD like me, keep it in a journal )

This little exercise makes becoming the best version of yourself more fun and it makes this change more exciting, k?

We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. We cannot all be good at everything. We all have good and bad days.

What we allow will continue and the idea is to become MINDFUL + repurpose your self-criticism for good, got it?

So everyone, this is how I battle self-criticism. I learned HOW to use it for good by changing my perspective, being mindful of my thoughts and challenging my negative beliefs. It’s not about “being positive.”

It’s about BEING AWARE of reality and if you are TOO critical, realizing that you won’t get anywhere with that attitude.

Just sayin’… I hope you all find this valuable and let me know your thoughts on my latest Instagram post or even shoot me a DM :)

I’m off to start my nighttime routine!

XO,

Sydney <3

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Sydney Nanberg