If you tend to be overly critical of yourself, you are not alone. Most people experience self-doubt and unkind negative thoughts.  We all have an inner voice that I like to call the “itty bitty crappy committee”. This critical inner dialogue frequently occurs without us even realising it is happening and runs as a subtle commentary in the background of everything we do. Your inner critic can be loud, incredibly cruel and can also be amplified by social media. These are some examples of inner critical thinking:

    • Nobody likes you or your ideas.
    • You are an impostor.
    • You are not going to be successful.
    • You are not smart enough to do this.

How Business Affirmations Can Empower Mumpreneurs

Business affirmations can empower mumpreneurs in various ways. Here are some of them:

Impacts of Inner Critics

Negative self-talk can have some very damaging impacts to your self-confidence and emotional and psychological wellbeing. Negative-self talk “feeds” a person’s anxiety and depression and can cause an increase in stress levels while lowering levels of confidence. 

Our negative self-talk and inner critic is part of our innate negativity bias. This negativity bias has been programmed into our brains for thousands of years in order to keep us safe. This negativity bias is given a voice by our negative self-talk. It is the voice that tells you, you are crazy to start a business while raising a family, and it often has you thinking unkind and negative thoughts about yourself.

How to Overcome your Inner Critic

The reality is our inner critic does not disappear, but there are tools and strategies you can implement that train your inner critic. With greater self-awareness you can distance yourself from that inner critical voice and thwart its capacity to devise negative and judgemental messages.

Here are three ways to tame your inner critic and transform your negative self-talk.

1. Monitor your self-talk, acknowledge and catch your negative thoughts.

Listen for what You are saying to yourself internally. This internal dialogue can be our best supporter or worst enemy. We get so used to hearing our own narrations that it is easy to become unaware of the messages we are telling ourselves. Pay attention to what you are thinking and acknowledge that just because you think something, doesn’t mean it is true. Recognise, acknowledge and catch the harsh negative thoughts and internal dialogue. You are not going to stop negative self-talk by ignoring the thoughts. You need to acknowledge the negative self-talk dialogue before you can manage it. Become a detective that recognises the “negative beliefs” that set you up to feel bad. Do not be too harsh on yourself (we all have negative self-talk) and remember that these thoughts are not good or bad they just are and like clouds they can float in and out of our minds at different times.

2. Challenge Negative Thoughts.

Identify and challenge negative thoughts that undermine your belief in your skills, abilities and self-worth. Start by asking yourself – is this true? What evidence proves that this is true? What evidence proves this negative self-talk is false? “What might be a more helpful thought be?”

Remind yourself that thoughts are not facts by catching the negative self-talk and then saying something like: “I am having this thought that I am not good enough, but I know that is not true”. 

3. Stop Ruminating.

If you have made a mistake or had a bad day, often it is tempting to re-play the events over and over in your mind. But, repeatedly reminding yourself of that embarrassing thing you did, or that question you could not answer, will only make you feel worse and will not solve the problem.

When you are ruminating do not waste time telling yourself, “Don’t think about that.” The more you try to avoid thinking about something, the more you are likely to focus on it. Instead, distract yourself with an activity – like going for a walk, organising your desk, or talking about a completely different subject – doing something productive helps stop critical thoughts before they spiral out of control.

To thrive as an mumpreneur you must take care of yourself first. Life has ample obstacles without you constantly tearing yourself down with negative self-talk. Negative self-talk can do untold damage to your emotional health and wellbeing so it’s crucial to tackle it. If you have tried to change your negative self-talk and challenge your inner critic but feel as though you need more help, please reach out to a mental health professional.

If you’d like to know more Kari can be found online at: www.karisutton.com