We live in a highly pressured world where we are frantically rushing to get through the day, completing the never ending to-do lists and tasks at work and in our personal lives.
Even when we are accomplished in what we do, we are often at war with ourselves, judging who we are and why we’re never enough. Our inner voice has become immune to our negativity and self-criticism of ‘never enough’. It is experienced by saying: I’m going to mess up or I’m a failure or I’m never going to get this job.
Over time an inner negative attitude begins to emerge and develop into internal negative thoughts, feelings of unworthiness, guilt of wasting away the years. There is a feeling of being overwhelmed and I see many clients who engage in ongoing and severe self- scrutiny.
They experience a fear of being disapproved of and not being accepted by others.They express a sense of helplessness, low self- confidence and are at the mercy of their inner critic. The inner critic becomes toxic over time which leaves my clients in a frozen state of fear. However, the inner critic can also be beneficial and serve to engage us in some ways to reframe our relationship with it.
What can we do to change our low self-confidence, increase our self-esteem and have a kinder relationship with ourselves ?
We are all unique beings and different techniques will work differently. Here are some ways to notice and transform these repeated negative thoughts in order to regain our self-confidence. Arnold Mindell the founder of Process Psychology, says that in order to bring change and shift power, one must learn to enter into the critic’s role and walk in their shoes.
Managing your low self-esteem and low self-confidence involves steps and stages. Notice when your low self-esteem or low self- confidence appears in whichever form it may take. Pay attention to what the criticisms are.
- Start to have a conversation with your inner critic. Find out what its thoughts are, how it feels and what it says. Challenge your inner critic. Find out what the messages are that they are carrying.
- Get to know its stories and feelings and identify its different voices. Stop giving your inner critic power.
- Observe how the inner critic appears and develop through time, self-compassion and a mindfulness practice.
- Keep a journal and write down 4 things you’ve done well today. When you feel the inner critic appearing, refer back to your journal.
- Find self-compassion and view yourself as someone who is always learning. Making mistakes is part of learning and an opportunity to grow and develop. Coming to a place of acceptance of who we are is one of the great challenges of life.
Honouring your inner knowledge, intelligence and wisdom, I can help you to focus on discovering and exploring the deeper aspects of your inner critic, self-confidence and self-esteem. I will also support you to unfold the process and identify the difficulties along the way.
As you work with and face your critic, a shift and change in energy will take place. There will be an increase in self-confidence, as we begin to accept and acknowledge our potential, using a playground of positive resources that you may already have.
These may include having a yoga or meditation practice, walking, creative arts ( painting, pottery, drawing), gardening, bush walking, playing a musical instrument, running or walking along the beach and reading.