“And the critic’s award goes to...”

Have you ever noticed your judgement of yourself? The little voice in your head: “you are too fat”, “you look stupid in that jacket”, “no one likes you” or “I can’t believe I did that”. Perhaps you get angry shifts that others join in and are judging you in their heads. Perhaps being out in crowded places or at events is difficult for you. Maybe fear of what family, friends or even strangers might think is a problem.

Here are three simple things to try to help combat those thoughts and build self-esteem.

1. Remember most people do not care about you.

They are absorbed in their own lives. What to have for dinner, if their boss likes them, where they should go on holiday etc. So unless you interact with them, you do not get a look in. Family and friends have a deeper relationship that is formed on love and care not on a single event or a mistake.

2. Notice that when you judge in this way, you are choosing to abandon yourself.

You say these terrible things to yourself and you have to stick around. You would not say it to a friend. Your friend would likely tell you what to do with your opinion. Have some compassion and notice what you are doing and what you need to do more of to make yourself happy.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others.

With our 24-hour connected world and social media it is easy to find examples of happy, contented people. But try to define your own happiness and not work others yardstick; you may never sail the Atlantic single-handed or write a bestselling novel. Who needs to if being with your children make you happy. Write your diary about your boating trip with them on the local river. Work out what makes you happy and do more of it.

Banishing the critic takes practice and time perhaps you feel you need help with anxiety in which case talking therapy can be a great boost to your confidence and self-esteem.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Glasgow, G46
Written by Graeme Orr, MBACP(Accred) Counsellor
Glasgow, G46

Graeme is a counsellor and author, living and working on the south side of Glasgow. In his practice, he sees a number of clients with emotional, anxiety and self-esteem that have relevance to us all. His articles are based on that experience and are offered as an opportunity to identify with, or to challenge you to make changes in your life.

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