Do you get stuck in negative self-talk trying to figure out where you went wrong? If you spent one whole day listening to your thoughts, you might be quite shocked at just how much self-criticism you do.
A recent study shows that many women berate themselves numerous times throughout the day, but don’t even view it as self-judgment, thinking they are being truthful or realistic. Most will judge themselves daily before 9.30am (http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-experts-warn-of-dangerous-trend-as-survey-finds-women-selfcriticise-eight-times-a-day/news-story/bf3b43b75d1e627baa3d717cf397c8ac). And from personal experience, I can tell you that it’s not just women who fall prey to this self-judgment trap.
Most of us have been taught that if we criticize, analyze and judge ourselves enough that we will somehow find out how to make our lives better. But in truth, no amount of criticism, no matter how ‘constructive’ it might be, is going to help things get greater in your life, or anyone else’s.
What if you didn’t have to continuously look for what is right or wrong about you? What would your life be like if you stopped the judgment of you?
Here are 6 things you can do right now to break the cycle of self-criticsim and judgement that is only designed to stop you from becoming as great as you could be!
- Become friends with the big, red STOP sign! It may seem ridiculously simple, but often-times, simple is the most effective. The next time you go down that rabbit hole of negative or critical thoughts, feeling or emotions, see a big red STOP sign in your mind and tell yourself to just STOP. Seriously – just stop it! We make the nasty talk in our head so significant and meaningful, and we decide we have to overcome it and figure it all out in order to go beyond it. What if you don’t? What if you can just go, “Oh ok, hello judgment, and no thanks. Goodbye!” You can. Try it and see.
- Choose to be happy. A lot of us think we have to have external circumstances just right in order to at last be happy. Sorry, not true. The easiest and fastest way to get happy is to choose it. Stop looking for what’s wrong about you, and see what’s right about you instead! When you see what’s awesome about you, judgment and criticism will take a backseat. When you catch yourself criticizing, stop and ask, “What’s right about me I am not getting?” instead. This is a great tool to break down the judgment “machine” that you have been running on the same cycle over and over.
- Celebrate yourself daily. What you put your attention on grows. Prioritise putting your attention on what you would like more of in your life – like celebrating you rather than bringing you down. Take a moment to sit and ask yourself, “If I were celebrating me and my life today, what would I choose?” and see what different ideas show up. And then, take action and do them!
- Shake your booty. Chemically, moving your body is a great way to get out of negative thoughts and feelings. Go for a walk somewhere beautiful. Dance in your living room with the music turned up. Do cartwheels in the back yard. When you move your body and allow your head to clear out, suddenly things that were so terrible and bad a few minutes ago aren’t so serious anymore.
- See the funny side. Laughter heals. When you laugh, it’s hard to make things significant or hold on to the negative. Laughing allows you to see the lightness and humour in everything. Allow yourself to laugh at all the craziness that you tie yourself up in knots over and it will no longer have power over you. And when you no longer give it power, it can change.
- Hang around happy people. If you find that the people in your life tend to be negative and judgmental, this will rub off on you and you will feel like that is all that is available. Spend your time with people who are happy and grateful and inspire you to see the beauty and joy available in life. Think of 3 people in your life who are like that, make the time to call them, and spend time with them. If you don’t have anyone like that in your life, maybe now is time to seek out new friends!
Dr Dain Heer is an internationally recognized author, speaker and workshop facilitator, best known for his unique energetic transformation process, The Energetic Synthesis of Being. He hosts a regular radio show, Conversations in Consciousness and is the author of nine books on the topics of embodiment, healing, money and relationships. His best-seller, ‘Being You, Changing the World’, has been translated into 6 languages. Find out more at www.drdainheer.com