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Befriending the inner critic

Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves.


Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves. 

This is different to self-confidence, which refers to our sense of being able to do something successfully. 

People with high self-esteem have confidence in themselves, can take reasonable risks, try new things that take them outside of their comfort zone without fear of failure. 

When we have low self-esteem we may find that we have negative opinions about ourselves; this can lead to us saying negative things about ourselves or joking about our self in a negative way. Negative self-talk is not only a result of low self-esteem but can also be one of the leading factors that lowers our sense of worth in the first place.  

Increasing awareness of self-criticism 

Over-time self-criticism becomes automatic, so we become less aware of self-criticism and the impact it has on our daily lives. Becoming aware of how we treat ourselves can help to reduce the negative feelings. 


Start by observing your thoughts; noticing the words, tone of voice and the impact of the inner critic. This allows for us to make choices in this moment rather than responding automatically. 

Replace self-criticism with constructive feedback 

Once we become aware of self-criticism we can begin to make changes. Self-criticism can be changed into constructive feedback by adopting a friendly, curious attitude.   

Remember that the inner critic is trying to be helpful. Rather than become angry and fight with this part of yourself attempt to befriend the inner critic. Thank the critic for its attempt to keep us safe, and let it go replacing its message with a friendlier version. 


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