Growing up, we inevitably internalize some of the regressive norms of our culture, especially shame – but there is great power and healing to be had in the conscious unlearning of these thought patterns, and all that negative self-talk can end with you. Here’s how to grow, let go, and stop judging yourself, but still make some time to continue judging everyone else:
Catch and release negative thoughts.
Telling yourself that you’re lazy, undeserving, or untalented is majorly destructive to your self-esteem. Show yourself some compassion, and instead think about how other more successful people you know are undeserving and untalented. Like, how embarrassing is it that they’re putting themselves out there when they suck so much? Aren’t they afraid of what people will think? They should be. This obviously has nothing to do with you.
Accept compliments, but not the people giving them to you.
Rejecting compliments only begets isolation and unhappiness. Next time someone says something kind, allow yourself to soak it in and believe that it’s true. You can still think that the person who said it is fake, shady, or simply doesn’t have their shit together enough to be a legitimate source of validation, but think all those things while also believing they just happen to be right about your skin looking really good today.
Don’t treat yourself as you would a friend.
They say that you should treat yourself with the emotional generosity and support you would a friend, but actually you should treat yourself better than that. Keep judging your friends for things like not answering your texts, dating the wrong people, and showering too much or not enough, but understand that when you do those things it’s because you’re a complex and beautifully flawed individual. You are exactly where you need to be at this moment; we don’t know what the fuck everyone else is doing, though.
Some people will try to convince you that you are most critical of attributes in other people that you see and don’t like in yourself, but if you try hard enough we think you can accept yourself while still cruelly judging everyone else’s faults. Good luck with this sustainable journey!