I hope you have been gaining benefit from my deeper discussion of harsh self-criticism and negative self talk. I can speak for hours on this topic and would highlight in bright neon lights and blaring sounds how absolutely crucial it is for you to stop engaging in such mean treatment of your self.
Experiencing unpleasant feelings and experiencing the effect of your harsh self critical comments do not have equal effects on you. Unpleasant feelings are uncomfortable. Harsh self-criticism is EXPONENTIALLY DAMAGING.
I want to you to hear this particular message clearly:
Being harshly self-critical must stop.
If you are mean to yourself in this way AND you do not allow yourself to take in compliments, there is no room for good to enter your life and be experienced.
Choosing what you think is one aspect of your life that you do have control over and your life will feel noticeably lighter without these self-attacks. If you haven’t caught up on my most recent blog posts, I would encourage you to do so before continuing. Click here to read “Ending Harsh Self Criticism Part 1” or here for “Ending Harsh Self Criticism Part 2“.
In this conclusion of my “Ending Harsh Self Criticism” blog series, I want to talk about specific steps that you can take to ending your own harsh self criticism.
- Become more aware of your harsh self-criticism or negative self-talk.
- Understand that each time you talk to yourself this way, you are using harsh self-criticism as a way to disconnect and distract from painful or unpleasant feelings.
- Use your awareness of harsh self-criticism as a signal that something harder to feel, know, or bear is trying to make itself known to you.
- Ask yourself, “What is difficult for me to know, feel, or bear right now?” and invite it more fully into your conscious awareness.
- If painful feelings surface, take several deep, slow breaths and then ride those 90 second waves.
- As you move through your feelings, notice any insights that surface (e.g, realizing you are angry and needing to express your anger to resolve a conflict).
- Make use of the insights for decision making, to express yourself, or to take action.
- Approach yourself with more kindness and compassion.
- Deepen your understanding by asking yourself what you can learn from what you are experiencing.
Engaging in the consistent practice of recognizing and rectifying your negative thinking, and ending the destructive force of harsh self-criticism is necessary for creating a loving relationship with yourself. Clearing these challenges in thinking will open a space for you to be connected to your genuine feelings.
This brings us right back to making the one choice to experience one or more 90 second bodily sensation waves of unpleasantness. Doing so allows you to dramatically change your way of relating with the world.
This weeks action step:
For this weeks action step, the action that I want you to take is to follow the steps above to end your harsh self-criticism.
Wishing you the best,
Dr. Joan Rosenberg
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