Gemma McCaws tips on how to ditch the inner critic and believe in yourself

How to be your own biggest cheerleader.

Have you ever had a really good idea or come up with a great plan, only to have that little voice in your head pipe up with self-doubt or criticism? It’s easy to become your own worst enemy, but if you want to succeed in life and be happy, you need to learn how to ditch that nagging inner critic.

In today’s world, you can be consumed with the need for validation of others and this constant pressure can lead to some serious negativity or even knock your mental health. Here are some ways to foster self-confidence and shut down that little voice saying you’re not good enough or clever enough to achieve.

Have a mindset of moving forward

Adopt a positive mindset and see setbacks as stepping stones rather than failure. Don’t let the voice define who you are.

Everyone has things they don’t like about themselves, but having a positive attitude will help you see and appreciate all the great things you bring to the table, while allowing you to improve and grow at the same time.

Permit yourself to take risks

It’s fine to be aware of the negative voices in your head, but you must not allow them to direct your actions or stop you from going after what you really want.

Sometimes the most fulfilment – both personally and professionally – comes from taking risks or stepping outside your comfort zone. Believe in yourself!

Be kind to yourself

Try swapping out the negative voice with that of a good friend. Ask yourself, “What would they be saying to you in this situation?”

Good friends support you even when you stumble and are often a lot kinder to you than you are to yourself.

Accept and appreciate the good

Celebrate your success and accept praise when it is given as this can quieten the self-criticism. The more you focus on your achievements, the less time you’ll spend putting yourself down or talking yourself out of happiness.

Name your inner critic

Give your inner critic a nickname that makes you laugh. You’ll quickly start to see that the voice isn’t actually the real you and you can tell it to quieten down when it pops up in unhelpful situations. It’s also a great way for you to learn not to take yourself so seriously.

Related stories