One of the challenges that many people face when trying to discover their sense of purpose is dealing with their inner critic. This inner critical voice tends to convince us that our efforts and actions are not good enough in some way. It highlights our perceived shortcomings and makes us believe that others have it all figured out while we are lacking.
It’s important to recognize that this inner critic is something that everyone experiences to some extent. It is not a reflection of our deficiencies, but rather a common challenge that we all encounter on our journeys. Understanding this can help us develop self-compassion and realize that we are not alone in this struggle.
Instead of allowing the inner critic to hold us back, we can work on cultivating self-awareness and challenging its negative messages. By recognizing our strengths, embracing our imperfections, and focusing on our progress, we can gradually quiet that critical voice and gain the confidence to pursue our sense of purpose with greater resilience and determination.
Here’s the practical tips that you can rely on when experiencing self-doubt:
- Mindfulness: Begin by recognizing the inner critical voice and the negative thoughts that arise. Be aware of the impact these thoughts have on your physical sensations and emotions. Notice any tightness in your chest or restricted breathing that may accompany these thoughts.
- Common humanity: Remind yourself that you are not alone in experiencing self-doubt and having an inner critic. Understand that many others also face similar challenges and negative self-talk. Recognize that these feelings are temporary and that you can overcome them.
- Self-kindness: Practice being kind to yourself in this situation. Ask yourself what actions or practices would be supportive and nurturing for you. It could involve reaching out to a friend or confidant, discussing your thoughts and seeking their encouragement. Purposefully choose positive affirmations and focus on the enjoyment and fulfilment that can come from the experience.
Remember that being kind to yourself is crucial, as it enables you to approach tasks with more effectiveness and enjoyment. Often, we mistakenly believe that being hard on ourselves is necessary, but in reality, self-kindness helps us achieve better results.
(Lim Sia Hoe)