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4 Tips on How to Manage these Damaging Critical Thoughts

by Roveen Anyango
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Having an inner critical voice is important on helping you push yourself to be the best that you can. However, on many occasions, this inner critical thoughts can defeat the purpose and make you feel worse about yourself.

This damaging inner critic is often very harsh and condescending, to such an extent that it damages your confidence, rather than build it. Below, we look at the damaging critical thoughts and how to overcome them.

Catastrophizing

Catastrophizing is the expectation of the worst thing to happen. This way of thinking can completely bring your life to a halt, making you fearful of doing anything, rather than actually help you accomplish great things.

How to manage it

Flip over the scenario. Whenever you find yourself thinking of the worst-case, quickly counter that with the opposite. What if it works out? What if it goes right? Then, focus all your energies on trying to visualize a positive ending.

Filtering

Filtering is the amplification of negative details and completely filtering out the positive details. Filtering, as with catastrophizing, makes you fearful of doing things.

How to manage it

When something happens, keep track of the positive things. You could do this in form of keeping a gratitude journal. In this way, you stop your brain from filtering out the positive thoughts and work to improve your perception of things.

Jumping to conclusion

Jumping to conclusions is the assumption that you know what others are feeling or thinking and thus, make judgments based on said assumptions. This way of thinking can ruin your relationship with your loved ones, since jumping to conclusions always assumes the worst of people.

So, if for example, a loved one was out late for work, jumping to conclusions would make you believe that they were out with another person. Then, you act in a manner that suggests this thought, meaning you refuse to talk to them or show affection to them since you assumed that they are cheating on you.

How to manage it

The first way to stop yourself from jumping into conclusion is to ask yourself why you would think like that. As yourself how true that can be and if there are other possible explanations for what happened.

All-or-nothing thinking

This is the thinking where things are black and white, with no in-between. It is this type of thinking that makes you believe that you need to be perfect or else, you will have failed. Or that a situation needs to progress perfectly or it would be a failure. As with catastrophizing, this way of thinking is crippling and can lead to you not amounting to much, which further makes you feel worse about yourself.

How to manage it

Try to look for a middle ground of any situation. You are not perfect, but nobody is. Understand that situations will always have good and bad, just to varying degrees. Keep this critical thoughts with you as you attempt to do something difficult. Know that even if you fail, you would still have learnt something.

Getting rid of these crippling thoughts will often not be easy, and it will take time, but with patience, you should be able to get over your crippling self-criticism and become more positive.

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