How to deal with self-criticism

Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

Self-criticism is part of what the mind does. Don’t ignore your inner censor. Listen, smile, and make peace with those thoughts.

Still Writing by Dani ShapiroIt helps to think of that inner censor as a beloved but annoying friend who has moved in for the duration. That friend is never going away. So you make peace with your inner censor. You say some version of, thanks very much for sharing, and then move on, past that censoring voice, and into your work.”

Dani Shapiro in an interview with, talking about her book Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life.

‘Learning mindfulness (like life in general) will always present difficulties and obstacles. Perhaps you’re pretty nasty to yourself through excessive self-criticism when things don’t work out how you want them to. The way to deal with this harsh inner voice is to listen to it, give it space to unfurl and bring to it a sense of curiosity in a gentle, warm way.

I used to be very self-critical of everything I did. When I first practised yoga, for example, I thought about how bad I was at doing the poses. The voice telling me I’m bad at yoga comes back occasionally, but now I simply notice it and usually smile when I hear it. The negative thought usually dissipates quickly after that and I and I can carry on with my yoga (which I am now better at through steady practice!).’

Shamash Alidina and Joelle Jane Marshall. Mindfulness Workbook For Dummies

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