The thoughts criticizing you have a common underlying theme. You’re not good enough. The thoughts can be caused by a number of different things such as parents, social circles, colleagues etc. words and behaviours can teach your unconscious things which your mind will later go by.
There are a number of strategies you could put into place to help with teaching your mind self-compassion instead of self-loathing:
- Accept no one is perfect. Everyone has flaws and it’s natural for you to have them too. Don’t aim for perfection as you can never achieve it, no one can. You’ll find that once you’ve set a perfectionist goal and are inevitably unable to achieve it, you’ll use this as a justification to mentally beat yourself up
- Stop comparing yourself. When you compare yourself it’s always to individuals you perceive are doing better than you. Most of the time people only show certain aspects that they’re comfortable with sharing, usually the good parts and you’ll end up comparing your reality to their carefully selected snippets. Everyone has issues or something going on behind closed doors.
- Triggers. There’s usually a trigger when you start self-loathing, this can be a certain feeling, a person or memories that will trigger this cycle. If you can work out your triggers, you can be prepared to deal with them differently, so when your mind goes into a self-loathing mode, you can implement other strategies like saying ‘ I know what’s about to start, I deserve better than this’ continuously repeat this until the self-loathing goes away. Keep in mind this could take some time. Consistency is key.
- Affirmations. You’ve heard about affirmations before, this isn’t something new you’re about to read. With any change you implement at first you’ll find it difficult to implement and may find it a struggle however with consistency this becomes easier. With affirmations, you may not believe what you are saying at first however with consistency you’ll eventually start to believe them more and more. Try these, ‘I’m worthy’, ‘ I deserve better’, ‘I can do this’.
- Self-compassion. Recognize and acknowledge all your signs of progress no matter how small. Focus on the positive with as much effort as you do with the negative things. Reward yourself for every single progress, you’re mind will then link the two together, which in future will mean wanting to make progress is made easier as you know there’s also a reward coming.
Change takes time, be consistent and do these changes on a regular basis, you’ll see the benefits eventually. You don’t develop self-loathing overnight and you won’t develop self-compassion overnight either. Take your time, with consistency the change will happen.