How you talk to yourself inside your head can have a huge impact on how you act in real life. If you’re the type who struggles with an overly critical inner voice, you can try to change your habits with the three P’s.
Picture: Menno Abbink
As tips blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree points out, being self-critical can be harmful if your inner voice is less than truthful. Sure, it’s great to be aware of your own faults and weaknesses, but being negative for its own sake will drag you down and affect your performance. To get a handle on which you’re doing, focus on the three P’s:
- Permanence: How long is this going to last? Is this really going to last forever, or is this a setback you can get past in a short time? For example, “I’m never going to be smart enough” vs “I just haven’t learned that yet.”
- Pervasiveness: Is this problem universal? Is it an unavoidable law of the universe or is it conditional? For example, “I’m incapable of being organised” vs “I need to practise being more structured.”
- Personal: Is the problem a fault with who you are or is it a thing that just happens? For example, “I’m terrible at my job” vs “Today sucked, but I know I can do better.”
These three areas are key to how we perceive ourselves. Your self-criticism can turn self-destructive if you focus on the wrong thing in any of these areas. Your problems may feel like they’re never going to change, like they’re universal, and like the fault lies solely with you. By soberly analysing the truth in these three areas, and being honest with yourself about your strengths, you can talk more positively about yourself and stop dragging your own thoughts down.
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