Do you tend to be pretty critical and judgmental of yourself?
Focusing on what’s wrong all the time?
Have you experienced situations where you’ve felt like a failure or not enough, which triggered self-induced shame, blame, and are just overall hard on yourself?
Oftentimes it can be around things like your body, food, relationships, career, friendships.
It can feel hopeless, like we’re going to be stuck there forever in that uncomfortable state.
No matter how much your inner meal girl is talking, I want you to know you’re not broken. This is so normal!
The good news is, you can have it happen less and less often with this mindset shift I’m going to share with you.
It’s a shift based in mindfulness and self-compassion to help you work towards creating new auto-pilot thoughts that feel more gentle, accepting and constructive.
How to Shift from Inner Shame & Criticism to Compassion & Kindness
Notice what’s happening, and feel your feelings. Take a minute to really tune in and notice: how does it feel, what’s being triggered? Look for biological feedback from your body, and get super clear on what you’re feeling. Oftentimes when we’re being super critical and judgmental of ourselves we’ll feel tense, uncomfortable, anger, sad, fear of (__fill in blank__) and stress. Have compassion and empathy for yourself for that pain, honor your feelings. Notice it, feel it, don’t apologize for it. Know that it’s a natural response, just your body’s way of trying to keep you safe by making you feel this way as a coping mechanism.S
Separate your feelings from facts. They do not always go hand-in-hand. When we treat feelings as facts, we use those feelings to selectively look for facts to back us up or sometimes our feelings make us unwilling to even gather facts. We can get so caught up in what’s going on that we don’t even realize the difference between the two. Ask yourself objectively: What actually is true in this situation? What are the facts? What am I making this mean?
Reframe the meaning. Take the information from step 2 and shift what you’re making the situation mean to what else it could mean that would be more grounded in fact. What else could be true here, what else could the situation also mean that would feel more empowering and be based on fact vs. feeling from your initial gut reaction.
Next steps. Think through what your next steps could be to move forward from this situation in an empowered positive, productive way instead of having it lead you down a self-sabotaging rabbit hole. Often when we play the shame/blame/judgment game, we get trapped in the feelings and it can keep us stuck or lead to stories to justify sabotaging behaviors.
>> Here’s a quick example that happened to me the other day!
My inner mean girl was screaming at me, making me feel all kinds of self-criticism for eating chips/marshmallows/toast for dinner after being out of the house without food all day, and not having anything to make a nutritious dinner. This happens once in a super blue moon for me, but I was still not happy with myself.
So I went through the steps:
First, I felt my feelings. The biggest feelings were frustrated for not planning ahead, and weak for not utilizing any freezer options that would have been more nutritious. I let myself feel it, sat with it, and didn’t try to suppress.
Second, I separated my feelings from facts. I’m not actually weak, I just made a decision to eat processed foods over heat up nutritious foods. It was my choice, and I own it. I let my body get overly hungry, so I biologically craved carby/sugary foods.
Third, the biggest truth behind it looking at it objectively was that it didn’t mean I don’t have self-control, it’s a natural body response. If I fought it or tried to resist – I would have overly eaten/binged on them in the future most likely! Instead, I was able to eat mindfully in the moment, and stop when I was full.
Finally, the situation served as a great reminder and reinforcer how important planning ahead really is for me. If I know I’m going to be out of the house all day, I can plan the night before or morning-of to pack snacks or maybe scope out a restaurant near where I’m going to be, or have my husband help me out and make dinner, or utilize leftovers from the night before.
Comment below and tell me a situation where you are looking forward to using this method!