How to stop criticising yourself

Is your inner critic holding you back? Life coach Mhairi Gordon-Preston gives us her steps towards silencing self criticism


How to stop criticising yourself

Doing something new or challenging can awaken a fault-finding voice within you, which has the power to reduce motivation, increase nervousness, or stop you from even trying.

If you ever feel forced to give up in order to silence that inner voice, try these steps from life coach Mhairi Gordon-Preston, and stop your inner critic from holding you back:

  • Write down five of your self-critical thoughts, and choose one that’s particularly holding you back at the moment.
  • Now turn your chosen thought on its head into a positive statement, or affirmation, eg ‘I’m not experienced enough to get that promotion’, turns into ‘I am experienced in the skills they’re looking for’. Start with ‘I am’, make your statement in the present, and make it positive.
  • Write down your affirmation, and repeat it out loud into a mirror at the same time every morning and evening.
  • Make this part of your daily routine. Your affirmation might feel untrue at first, but that will change over time as you repeat it consistently. Say it daily for at least two months, or until you believe it when you’re having a bad day or going through a difficult time. 
  • It takes guts to face your inner demons. Once your first belief has shifted, come back to this exercise to get rid of you other self criticisms.

Mhairi Gordon-Preston is a qualified life coach at Your Sea-Change Life.