How to stop self-criticism during the pandemic

Life during the coronavirus outbreak is hard. Absorb these expert tips and give yourself a break


Life during the coronavirus outbreak is hard. Absorb these expert tips and give yourself a break

That nagging little voice in our heads always seems to pop up at the most inconvenient of times; usually when we are about to embark on a journey of growth. For all the outside influences that can have a negative impact on our lives and our careers, self-criticism is undoubtedly our biggest foe; until you’ve learned the art of silencing it. Shaa Wasmund MBE and author of How To Fix Your Sh*t tells us how to manage self-criticism so it no longer prevents us from moving forward...

Be Intentional With How And Whom You Spend Your Time

If you spend a significant amount of time consuming media that portrays women in an unrealistic light, you need to stop. I recommend going cold turkey. The conscious you knows it is not possible for these women to always be perfectly groomed, a ‘perfect’ size and have a perfect relationship or career, but your subconscious brain is wondering why you can’t be like that too. So stop consuming content that starts this conversation and instead consume content that is honest, real and relatable.

The same is true for your friendships: all friendships are not created equal. You will undoubtedly find over the years that some of your friendships leave you feel less certain about yourself, questioning why you aren’t as good as them, why you haven’t done x,y,z and others will leave you fired up, confident and enthusiastic about your future. Spend more time with those people.


All friendships are not created equal - spend time with those who leave you confident and enthusiastic about your future (Unsplash)

Silence The Inner Critic

To rid self-criticism of your life, start by being self aware. We are not all the same, we all respond to situations differently. Ask yourself, if you had a personal trainer, would you want them to bark at you for not doing enough push ups so that you got it done out of pure competitiveness (weirdly, I would? Or, would you rather a personal trainer who encouraged you to try to get one more in?

You are the personal trainer for your mind, so treat it accordingly. Figure out a plan before the self criticism kicks in so that when it does, you’re ready! 

Do what works for you. Listen to it, acknowledge it’s there, then consciously remind yourself that this too is just a thought and put it in a box and move on … or simply tell it to get out of your head and turn your music up. Whatever works for you.

Compete with yourself and collaborate with others

This has been my mantra my whole life. The only person I compete with is myself; to be the best version I can and that is a lifelong journey. If you’re going to look to others for your benchmark; do so wisely. We may see outward success, but we never really know what is happening on the inside of people’s lives.

Ask for help

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Practise asking for help; the more you do it, the easier it becomes. When you ask someone else for help, you are also giving them permission to do the same when they need it. Not to mention allowing someone else to feel good that they could be a support for you when you need it. 

Olivia – who rebranded as Liv a few years ago – is a freelance digital writer at Marie Claire UK. She recently swapped guaranteed sunshine and a tax-free salary in Dubai for London’s constant cloud and overpriced public transport. During her time in the Middle East, Olivia worked for international titles including Cosmopolitan, HELLO! and Grazia. She transitioned from celebrity weekly magazine new! in London, where she worked as the publication’s Fitness & Food editor. Unsurprisingly, she likes fitness and food, and also enjoys hoarding beauty products and recycling.