You are your own worst critic! 4 ways to stop being so hard on yourself

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By Ilse de Graaf

Being and entrepreneur brings it’s fair share of challenges but one that most women hadn’t bargained for was becoming their own worst critic.

For some reason it seems to be part of human nature that makes us self critical. Perhaps it’s actually a defence mechanism so that we are always trying to grow and improve or perhaps it is a negative reaction to the world we are living in today, to always strive for what other people have or at least what is presented to you through their social media accounts. We are always reaching for something as we are never content with what we have. Don’t get me wrong Ninja, I love setting new goals but this is only true when the motivation behind them comes from a positive or healthy place.

Whatever the cause may be, being your own worst critic comes with both pros and cons. Yes it may help you to deliver great work and you’ll be known as the #bossbitch who never lets anyone down. On the other hand it could leave you with a negative outlook, feeling like your best is never good enough as you are always looking for perfection.

I have come up with 3 insightful ways to quieten your inner most critic and be kinder to yourself.

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Setting realistic expectations of yourself
If you’ve been with Weight Loss Ninja for a while you’ll know that I am a real advocate for setting goals, but only if they are realistic ones. You are never going to be able to run a marathon with a months planning and preparation, and by setting this unachievable goal, you are setting yourself up for failure. You need to set goals over time, train and pace yourself.

You need to work on embracing the journey and realizing that being perfect is something that is actually out of reach, because guess what Ninja? Nobody, *I repeat*, nobody is perfect! Every single person is flawed in some way or another and that is absolutely fine, flaws are what make us human. Have you ever heard the saying “We learn from our mistakes”? It’s true y’know. Instead of putting the focus on what you did wrong, focus on what you did right and build from there. Focus on the things that are within your control and let the rest float away into the ether.

Stop obsessing about something that is in the past
Everything you do is in the present moment. It is a representation of who you are exactly in that moment of time, this also applies to every piece of work you do. All too often when you finish a piece of work, you publish it and then obsess over it for days – what could I have done differently? Should I have included that last paragraph? Was the graphic too zany? This is a huge waste of time and energy, what good is it doing anyone? I mean, for sure look how you could do some things differently so that you are constantly evolving in your work but don’t speak down to yourself because of something you thought was brilliant in that moment. It’s done already and there’s nothing you can do to change it. Naturally the work you did last week will differ from the work you are doing today and that’s ok, life is a never ending journey of self-growth and we are here to enjoy the ride!

It’s ok to ask for help
The biggest issue with being your own worst critic is that you think you have to do everything yourself, you must fly this plane alone! That is so not true, nobody is going to think any less of you if you ask for help. It takes strength and courage to admit you cannot do this alone. Sometimes once you express you are struggling and you gain some constructive criticism, you can push through and finish what you started. Remember, sharing with your inner circle will help you gain the support you need in various aspects of life.

For every negative thing you say to yourself, say 3 positive things to yourself
Even after acknowledging that you are your own worst critic and using the tools above, there is still going to be the odd occasion where you talk negatively to yourself. If you find you are being self-critical, try being self-congratulatory. Think of 3 things you can tell yourself that you are proud of, they could be small accomplishments that happened today or they could be the things you are most proud of in this world. You win at life by being you, so congratulate yourself… you are already winning!

I urge you to share this post with someone you think needs a reminder that they can learn to manage their self-criticism and introduce more self-love into their lives.

Thank you for reading Ninja, I hope you enjoyed it!

xx Ilse

Founder & Coach
Weight Loss Ninja