How to Let Go of Negative Self-Judgement
We judge ourselves out of fear of others' judgements. We are social creatures, and our social bonds used to be vital to our survival. So it’s natural for our minds to try and stay one step ahead of what others may be thinking about us. Our minds use negative self-judgement as a strategy to keep us safe.
But in our modern world, our self-judgement can often go into overdrive. And our negative thoughts can lead to low moods and anxiety if left unchecked. So in this post, we’ll learn how to let go of our negative, self-judgemental thoughts.
Let Go of Negative Self-Judgement with Journaling
We can begin the process of letting go of negative self-judgement through journaling. Journaling gives us the safe space needed to separate our thoughts from ourselves. One of the most effective journaling methods is stream-of-consciousness writing. Not being able to pause for thought doesn’t give our brain a chance to second guess (or judge!) what we’re writing down.
But it's ok if you feel overwhelmed by the idea of stream-of-consciousness writing. Instead, you can think about the following questions to guide your journaling session:
- What does my inner critic say about me?
- What does my inner critic say about others?
- What situations trigger negative thoughts?
Journaling may be enough to help you stop ruminating on self-judgemental thoughts. But it can be helpful to examine what you’ve written and question your beliefs. You’ll probably find most of these thoughts illogical and unfounded.
Let Go of Negative Self-Judgement with Positive Affirmations
Now that we have defined our negative self-judgements, it’s time to turn our thoughts around. We can turn our negative thoughts into positive affirmations. First, choose the negative self-judgement you feel is most holding you back. Then write out the positive opposite of that negative self-judgement.
Let’s look at an example.
Your negative self-judgement may be:
I always fail at everything I try.
The positive affirmation could be:
I love learning new things about myself and value every new experience.
Reframing a negative self-judgement may be uncomfortable at first. But persevering with positive self-talk can help you feel better about yourself. And when you feel better about yourself, you’re more likely to take positive action.
Again, it's ok if you’re having trouble turning negative thoughts into positive affirmations. We have a deck of affirmation cards designed to inspire positivity.
Let Go of Negative Self-Judgement with Mindfulness
Tackling our negative self-judgements head-on can become overwhelming. Sometimes, it is best to distract ourselves from our thoughts instead. We need to return to the present to distract ourselves from self-judgement. Being mindful of the present turns our gaze outwards, away from our thoughts.
Please remember that distracting ourselves is not the same as repressing our thoughts and feelings. But doing the inner work needed to let go of negative self-judgement can be a long and emotional process. Distracting ourselves allows us to rest and recover while self-healing.
Here are some ways you can practise mindful distractions:
- Watch a candle flicker while focusing on your breath.
- Slowly savour the taste of your favourite chocolate.
- Have a calming bath with Himalayan bath salts.
- Focus on the coolness of a green clay face mask.
- Mist your surroundings with lavender spray and slowly sip a cup of tea.
Letting go of negative self-judgement requires us to navigate our thoughts through:
- Positive affirmations
- Mindfulness activities
By taking a step back from negative self-judgement, we can then begin to let in kindness and compassion towards ourselves. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more wellness tips and advice.
Blog post is written by Caitlin Layfield