Reduce Stress by Silencing Your Inner Critic

“I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself. But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don’t want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So I am going to stop being my own critic. It’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.” ― C. JoyBell C.

I do this thing that used to drive me crazy every single time I do it. If you have an apple tv, you know it comes with this small, thin, remote. I’ve convinced myself that when I put this remote down that it finds a way to hide from me. The reality is that I am always putting it in the bed. There is no bulkiness to the remote so I can’t feel it if I roll over on it and it is easily swallowed up into the comforter. It would be so smart of me to make sure that I put the small, thin, remote on the nightstand after I change to whatever it is that I am trying to watch. Then, I would have the remote at my fingertips.

Of course, that is not what I do. I may put it on the nightstand once or twice, but then the remote winds up back in the bed. So, I wind up throwing the comforter all over the place while I am searching for it, only to find it under my butt cheek. The last time this happened, which was literally five minutes ago, I laughed and shook my head. I could launch into all the reasons why I should just put the stupid remote on the nightstand. I could try to shame myself into fixing this tiny issue. But, I chose to laugh at myself because I’ve done this long enough to know that I’m going to do it again. In fact, I don’t know where the remote is now.

There are things that we can change about ourselves, but there are some things that you eventually have to learn how to accept. There are many things that I remember and I’m really good at keeping track of things that I consider very important in my life. I guess I just don’t have a section in my brain that considers the remote to be one of those things. And really, it’s not my fault that the remote is small, thin and likes to hide the minute I put it down.

I completely agree that we have to work on big things in our lives like our finances, our relationships, eating habits and some of our more dangerous lazy habits. But, there are small habits that aren’t hurting anyone that may need some acceptance on our part because no one is perfect. No one can efficiently care about everything. Something has to drop off the list. If I’m going to remember every doctor’s appointment, I’m going to have to lose the remote. I’ve made that trade in my life and I’m comfortable with it. And, if I think about all the great things I do in my life, I don’t think anyone will punish me for losing small things. And, it provides me with a moment of laughter in an otherwise busy day.

We can be harder on ourselves than we are on other people. It’s important to find ways to let yourself off the hook for the more mundane tasks that you just don’t give a shit about. Maybe, you shouldn’t. Maybe, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not going to matter. Give yourself the same permissions that you give to others to let things go and, even to laugh at them. Look at yourself with curiosity. Find the humor in your idiosyncrasies. Accept your weirdness. If you can give yourself the room to be different, you can start to fall in love with the person you are. The more you fall in love with it, the more you will realize that others have already fallen in love with it or, at least, completely ignore it for the pleasure of being with you. Acceptance is a gift we give ourselves, not just other people.

“To the people who love you, you are beautiful already. This is not because they’re blind to your shortcomings but because they so clearly see your soul. Your shortcomings then dim by comparison. The people who care about you are willing to let you be imperfect and beautiful, too. ” ― Victoria Moran