21 Ways To Stop Torturing Yourself And Learn To Love

Jeremy Cai
Jeremy Cai

Is your inner critic bad mouthing you again? Calling you every name under the sun? Bringing up past mistakes and failures? Delighting in cataloging your every imperfection and sneering at any suggestion that you will ever amount to anything?

No wonder you sometimes feel disappointed with who you are, what you’ve done and more importantly, what you haven’t done.

And it’s crippling your life, and your happiness.

I was no different. My critical inner voice never left my side. It was like an evil troll perched on my shoulder whispering vitriol into my ear all day (and night). And waiting… just waiting for me to slip up. And then it would rip me to shreds.

Finally, I realized that unless I tackled that mean inner voice it would sabotage the rest of my life.
It took a long time to stamp on my inner critic and the battle goes on. Each day I remind myself that I’m the one with the stomping boots, I’m the one in charge. I’d love for you to do the same. To beat that destructive inner critic into being the supportive friend it should be.

So put your boots on and let’s go teach your inner critic who’s the boss.


1. See you inner critics real character.

Picture them as an evil troll whispering corrosive nonsense in your ear. The minute it starts up, forcibly knock It away.

2. Flip negative thoughts to positive.

Counter self-critical phrases like “What an idiot!” or “I can’t believe you did that!” with “Everyone makes mistakes. What matters is that I did something.”

3. Record your awesomeness.

Write down all the great things you’ve done so you can counter your inner critic’s one-sided rhetoric in advance.

4. Caricature your inner critic.

Draw a cartoon of your inner critic with one or two ludicrous features that make you laugh.

5. Create a store of compliments.

Jot down kind words others say about you and keep them in a your wallet or handbag. Pick out a few whenever your inner critic needs a sharp rebuff.

6. Learn to say no.

Stop your inner critic from the outset. As soon as it starts up, tell it a resounding ‘no!’

7. Give your inner critic an earful.

Muffle your inner critic with a blast of your favorite upbeat tune or fun movie.

8. Change your status on Facebook.

“Happy, imperfect and proud!”

9. Text yourself some love.

Send yourself a message of self-compassion, signed off with love. Read it often to show your inner critic where to hang up.

10. Visually counter your inner critic’s negative message.

Put a positive self-message on a favorite image and set it as your home screen across all your devices.

11. Refuse to take your inner critic seriously.

Blow a raspberry at your inner critic whenever it pipes up.

12. Listen to your friends.

Their positive reinforcement of your basic character and abilities should put your inner critic’s damning assessment in perspective.

13. Adopt a nickname.

Choose a fun, upbeat adjective such as ‘happy’ or ‘smart’. Now whenever your inner critic berates you by name, at least it’s positive.

14. Employ self-care.

Interrupt a negative self-thought with a mini act of self-love, such as a quick, tension-releasing neck rub or hand massage.

15. Congratulate yourself.

Reach round and give yourself a physical pat on the back for each thing you do well.

16. Keep score.

Increase the number of positive messages you give yourself by at least one every day.

17. Remember you’re only human.

“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”

18. Give yourself time.

Take one small step each day towards improving one thing you beat yourself up over.

19. Stop the self-hate.

You and yourself are destined to walk this life together, so decide it’s going to be a loving, nurturing relationship.

20. Think of others.

Listening to destructive self-criticism reduces your capacity to support those you love.

21. Decide you have a choice.

Do you want to spend it beaten up by your inner critic or learning to love your imperfections and be happy? Contemplate how short a time you’ll be on this planet. It’s just not worth it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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