23 Ways to Stop Beating Yourself Up Over Your Imperfections

Is your inner critic as mean as mine used to be?

If so, you’ve got a super cruel voice berating you day after day.

Forever knocking you for the slightest thing, no matter how hard you’ve tried. Blaming, bad mouthing, always bawling you out for your supposed shortcomings.

It’s why you dread social events and speaking up. It’s the reason you sometimes feel like a failure, convinced you’ll never amount to much.

I did. My inner critic spent years cataloging my every mistake, failure, forgotten friend’s birthday, facial blemish, extra pound on the scales…

It got so out of hand it literally took me over. Each morning brought another 24 hours in which to fail, mess up and be so much less than good enough.

Hey, it took me a while but I set out to understand why this self-critical person had become the larger part of me. I learned how to recognize and counter the cyclical destructive thoughts and negative behavior patterns. I learned how to master my inner critic, for the most part.

I’d love for you to to beat your mean inner critic into being the supportive counsel it should be, the honest friend.

So let’s go teach your inner critic a lesson it will never forget with these 23 simple strategies …

  1. See your inner critic for what it is. A malevolent goblin grimacing on your shoulder. Every time it puts you down, turn and flick it off your shoulder.
  2. Mock Your Inner Critic. Retaliate by repeating a self-depreciating thought back in a mocking voice.
  3. Start a ‘hurrah for me!’ journal. A pocket version works best. Note down every little thing you’re pleased you’ve said or done. Flick through your jottings each time you need to counter your inner critic’s harmful nonsense.
  4. Change your Facebook status. “Happy to be imperfect”.
  5. Show some self-appreciation. Add a positive self-message to a favorite image. Add this to your phone or laptop home screen.
  6. Realize how much others like you. Note down a checklist of the qualities others like you for. Stick this to your fridge for a positive, morning reminder.
  7. Give yourself a break. Focus in on one thing each day that you can reward yourself for. Tell yourself ‘well done’ with something you really look forward to.
  8. Look at your reflection. Shoot yourself a beaming smile and praise one quality or trait you feel blessed by.
  9. Practice self-forgiveness. Create a store of self-forgiveness quotes to silence your blame-happy inner critic when the need arises.
  10. Realize how much you should like yourself. Draft a list of characteristics you like about yourself – no false modesty here! Pop this into your pocket on mornings your inner critic wakes up early.
  11. Turn every negative thought around. Diffuse each self-diminishing thought by adding a positive ending. Here’s how, “So I made a mistake but I can learn from it.”
  12. Pay someone a compliment. Call up a friend you haven’t caught up with in a while. Tell them how much they mean to you. Making someone else feel better is a great way to boost how you feel about yourself.
  13. Recognize you’re better than you think. See how much your inner critic beats you up over and over for the same few mistakes you make. You’re less flawed than it would have you believe.
  14. Remember we all make mistakes. Even monkeys miss the branch sometimes, there’s no shame in getting it wrong. You can only fail if you’re actually trying and growing.
  15. Take the focus off you. Calculate how many people in the whole world really don’t care or even know about what you did or didn’t do compared to the few who might. Give your inner critic a lesson in perspective.
  16. Admit you made a mistake. But don’t admonish yourself. Instead, break your negative thought patterns by asking “Now what can I do about it?”
  17. Take the long view. See that errors or ‘failures’ are relative. Ask how will it matter in a week, a year, or ten years from now?
  18. Shift your focus. Concentrate on all the things you got right rather than the one you got wrong to teach your inner critic about focus.
  19. Stop expecting to be able to do everything. Demand from your inner critic an explanation of how you’re supposed to have been born an expert in everything? That’s defying the laws of human development, surely?
  20. Ease up. Cut yourself some slack in order to have time to do fewer tasks better. Trim your to-do list of a couple of jobs that won’t cause the earth to explode if they’re left unticked.
  21. Learn to love yourself. Contemplate how short a time you’ll be on this planet. Are you going to spend it beaten up by your inner critic or learning to love yourself and be happy?
  22. See the bigger picture. Gaze at a satellite image of the earth. Understand you’re as much an integral part of this amazing creation as anyone.
  23. Understand that no one is perfect. “I don’t know a perfect person, I only know flawed people who are still worth loving.” ~John Green

Stop Your mean Inner Critic In It’s Tracks

Forever beating yourself up has stolen your self-belief and worst of all, your happiness.

Your inner critic has ruined too many days (and nights).

But that mean inner voice is only a small part of you. You can put it back in its box.

Small, simple actions can bring great leaps in permanently breaking this negative cycle.

Triumph over all the self-depreciating thoughts that have chased around your head for too long.

You could be the success story to inspire others.

Fight back right now. This is your time.


Laura and Mark are on a mission to help you silence your inner critic and grow your happiness. Download their free cheat sheet: 5 Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict)


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

7 Responses to 23 Ways to Stop Beating Yourself Up Over Your Imperfections

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