We're not born critical. We don't just wake up and think the worst of ourselves. It has to be learned behavior. Whether from past or present, we learn to self-loathe from either traumatic experiences, or through society that pushes us to compare, compete, judge, and it just plain sucks.
Ask a girl what she likes most about herself and more than likely, she'll pause before answering. But, ask her what she dislikes, and she'll probably give you a mouthful of negatives. So, what's the impact of the inner critic? How do we help teach the ones we love how to break free from that self-critical prison? Or, what if it's ourselves that we need to help?
Living life free from self-judgment and self-criticism takes more than just believing that it's possible. It requires practicing strategies and motivation. Or, professional help. Girls openly admit to me in my workshops how comparing themselves to other girls and their inadequacies are a daily thing. Their distorted perceptions of reality become debilitating. Why? Because girls want what they don't have. Jealousy is the ultimate evil. Their inner critic says "why can't I be like her?", "why can't I look like her?", "why can't I just BE her?."
Habitual thoughts. Destructive to self-esteem. Toxic to self-confidence. Being a self-critic is a reality for many teenagers and adults. My heart breaks for these bright and beautiful beings. Sadly, we're living in a culture where girls are blinded by their own self-worth.
Escaping from self-critical prison is possible. it requires one important first step. Re-training the mind. But there's no training to find the positive qualities and strengths unless there's the motivation to start. The quiet inner voice whispers, "you're strong and beautiful." The louder voice says, "you're not good enough." The hard work begins when we can turn up the volume to hear that positive inner voice. What price do we pay for that emotional freedom? I believe anything is possible.