Silencing the inner critic

We are often far harder on ourselves than we are other people, and it can affect our wellbeing.

Girls having fun at Party in the Park

When you come to University, you are exposed to raft of new and exciting experiences. But sometimes, things (exams, tests and assignments) just don’t go to plan.

During these tougher times, we often revert to being our own worst critic, telling ourselves we are stupid, or not worth it. Such negative talk can adversely affect your sense of wellbeing, leaving you feeling low and out of sorts.

Here are a few simple things you can do to help deliver kindness to the person who needs it most…you!

  • Show compassion: Showing yourself some compassion means recognising that no one is perfect, all of the time. Learn to accept your imperfections and slip-ups as a natural part of being human.

    Kristin Neff has identified three components of self-compassion.  People with high levels of self-compassion are kind towards themselves when things don’t go so well rather than judging themselves harshly for their mistakes or shortcomings. They recognise that mistakes are a part of a shared human experience and they are mindful and accepting of negative emotions but they don’t let them take over. 

  • Enjoy the journey: The next time things don’t go quite to plan, just accept it as being a natural part of your own personal journey. Other people may achieve things at different times to you, but their journey is not yours and vice-versa.

  • Challenge yourself: Look for ways to challenge your critical inner voice by re-framing the words you say to yourself in stressful situations.

  • Be nice: Think about how you would treat a friend going through the same experience. Make an effort to provide yourself with the same level of care and kindness that you would give to them.

Learn more!

Want to learn more about the power of self-kindness? Check out these great resources.

Read: I stopped being mean to myself for a week and this is what happened 

Listen: Dr Kristin Neff’s guided meditation and exercises

Watch: The power of self compassion