One thing many of us have in common is that we live with the voice of our inner critic dominating our thoughts and directing them in negative, self-destructive ways. We often struggle with pervasive feelings of self-doubt, low self-esteem and low self-worth. Our inner critic belittles us and puts us down, sometimes relentlessly. We judge ourselves harshly, compare ourselves to other people, and often hold ourselves to impossible standards of perfection. This is often due to our wounded ego, or sense of self, which can suffer extreme blows when we experience trauma. We adopt beliefs that we are inadequate, inferior, unworthy and unlovable. We have allowed our fears to take over our minds and control us.
How do we soften this inner critic so that we can feel more freedom? How do we allow our minds to be at peace? We can start by becoming more aware of our thoughts as we are thinking them. Much of the time we aren’t conscious of our thought patterns. They have become our default ways of thinking, and when we don’t pay attention to them, they are allowed to continue unchecked, wreaking havoc on our minds and hearts.
As we become more mindful of our mental patterns, we become conscious of how they’ve been making us feel, how much they contribute to our depression, anxiety and other mental and emotional health issues. We may have adopted addictive behaviors to try to escape the pain of how badly we feel about ourselves. As we grow in awareness, we realize how interconnected our issues are. We start to feel an intuitive need to change our thought patterns so that we can stop hurting ourselves. We get to the point where we want to prioritize joy and inner peace.
We start wanting to distance ourselves from our self-destructive tendencies, our self-harming beliefs and behaviors. Our instinct might be to want to fight those old thought patterns. We might feel sad, anxious and overwhelmed, frustrated that we have been consumed by such negative, exhausting, painful ways of thinking. The trick is to instill new thought patterns and reinforce them with repetition, and with our energy and intention. Trying to fight the old thought patterns is a form of resistance, which can actually increase their momentum and strength, giving them more power over us. Instead of fighting the old, let’s work to build up the new.
Start reprogramming your subconscious mind to love yourself unconditionally rather than knocking you down, to forgive yourself rather than inundating you with shame. Write, repeat and listen to affirmations such as “I love myself. I forgive myself. I believe in myself. I am more than good enough. I am worthy.” Put the healing energy of your heart behind these affirmations, and with time you will feel your inner critic softening. Give yourself the gift of your own love.
Vista Taos is here to help. Call (575) 586-5078.