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Are you also self-critical?

Julia* was very critical of herself: if others thought she had done something well, she never thought it was enough. And when others thought she had done something wrong, it hurt a lot, because she found it hard to forgive her own mistakes.

Most people have such an inner critic. Who says something different to everyone. Julia's critic expected a lot from her.

In our coaching sessions, we discussed how she could deal with that side of her that 'always wants to do it right'. She saw that as a bad side of her, because it gave her a lot of stress. What helped her was to see the positive side of the critic too: the side of her that wants her to do well is trying to protect her from making mistakes and from being criticised by others.

Together we practiced self-compassion: she gradually lowered her bar and gave herself sincere compliments for things she thought had done 'well enough'. She started to see this part of her differently: 'wanting to do good' was something that could help her in her life. Now, if she receives criticism from others, she can deal with it in another way. She says to herself: 'ah well, I can make mistakes too'.

*A fictitious name and anonymised story


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