Counsellor Sarah Barr shares four steps to help you stop being your own worst critic.

When it comes to your self-worth, only one opinion really matters — your own.

Yet we should be very gentle with ourselves as we tend to be our own worst critics. Sometimes searching for evidence to validate our self-limiting beliefs, which are often negative, setting ourselves up for a lifetime of criticism.

Here are four techniques you can use to help increase your feelings of self-worth:

1. Be mindful

“A thought is just a thought, it is not a fact”

Through becoming more aware of our negative self-talk we can begin to distance ourselves from the feelings that the negative thought has triggered.
When you find yourself going down the path of self-criticism, stop and become aware of the thought and feelings and remind yourself, a thought is just a thought.

2. Change your story

We all have a story we’ve created about ourselves and this influences our self-perception.

To change that story, we have to understand where it came from and where we received the messages we tell ourselves. Whose voices are we internalising?

Sometimes automatic negative thoughts like ‘you’re no good’ or ‘you’re boring’ can be repeated so much in your mind that you start to believe them. These thoughts are often learned, which means they can be unlearned. Try using positive affirmations (see previous article on affirmations) and repeat them daily to yourself.

3. Avoid falling into the compare-and-despair rabbit hole

“Comparison steals your joy”

Practice self-acceptance and stop comparing.

Just because someone seems happy on social media or in person doesn’t mean they are. Comparisons only lead you to negative self-talk.

When you are feeling less confident with little self-worth, it will have an impact on your mental health, relationships, work and home life.

4. You are not your situation

Learn to differentiate between your situation and who you are is key to self-worth. Don’t let your circumstances or situation determine your value.

Instead recognise your inner worth. Celebrate your imperfections and give yourself the freedom to embrace who you are. Being ‘perfect’ is unrealistic and unattainable.

By being authentic you will begin to live a life that makes you happy.
Make a list of all of your achievements both personal and professional, and write down any compliments you receive. Reading this regularly will help to boost your confidence and self-worth.

Take care ~ Sarah.