Logo

    About this Episode

    So often in life, we are our own worst enemies. The meanest and loudest voice in our head is our own. So why are we so hard on ourselves? In this episode we break down the psychological underpinnings behind our inner critic, from the proposed evolutionary role of negative self talk, to the influence of our upbringing including the distinction between conditional and unconditional positive regard, parental expectations and childhood bullying. We examine how social comparison and overthinking can contribute to a poor self perception but, also, how we can adopt the methods of radical self compassion and cognitive diffusion to silence that inner voice and be free from self judgement. Listen now! 

    Patreon: https://patreon.com/ThePsychologyofyour20s

    Harvard Business Review article: https://hbr.org/2021/05/stop-being-so-hard-on-yourself

    Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thatpsychologypodcast/?hl=en&__coig_restricted=1

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    ūüĒĎ Key Takeaways

    • Gain awareness of your inner critic, silence the negative voice, and practice self-compassion to embrace vulnerability and find compassion for yourself amidst imperfections.
    • Self-criticism hinders our wellbeing and ability to thrive. Understanding its causes can help minimize shame and personal blame, fostering a kind internal space for personal growth.
    • Our early experiences and relationships shape our self-esteem, and excessive self-criticism can have negative effects on our mental health. Creating a loving and supportive environment is crucial for fostering healthy self-esteem.
    • Our upbringing and the way we were treated by our parents or caregivers can shape our self-perception, leading to negative self-talk and beliefs of unworthiness.
    • Stop overthinking and comparing yourself to others. Remember that your worth is not determined by someone else's success. Focus on self-acceptance and prioritize your own opinion over others'.
    • By recognizing that our self-worth is not defined by others and creating distance from our self-criticism, we can think more positively about ourselves and demand respect from others.
    • By practicing self-love through kind words, positive affirmations, self-reflection, engaging in joyful activities, and self-soothing techniques, we can overcome our inner critic and improve our well-being.
    • Give yourself permission to be self-critical occasionally, but remember that your thoughts are not the truth. Break free from negative self-talk and cultivate self-compassion to overcome insecurities caused by societal comparisons.

    ūüďĚ Podcast Summary

    Overcoming self-criticism and embracing self-compassion in our twenties.

    Many of us in our twenties struggle with being overly self-critical, constantly scrutinizing every decision and action we make. This inner critic stems from societal pressures and expectations, as well as messages we received during childhood. We often speak to ourselves in a way that we would never treat others, lacking the same grace and forgiveness. However, it is important to gain awareness of this inner critic and learn to silence that negative voice. Practices such as radical self-compassion and cognitive diffusion can help with this. It is crucial to embrace vulnerability, gain awareness, and find compassion for ourselves amidst our imperfections.

    The detrimental effects of self-criticism and the importance of creating a kind internal space for personal growth.

    Self-criticism can have detrimental effects on our wellbeing and hinder our ability to thrive. It is a tendency to evaluate ourselves harshly and scrutinize every aspect of our lives. Unlike occasional negative thoughts about others, we tend to believe and validate negative thoughts about ourselves because our own voice is the one we trust the most. This inner critic, stemming from our Super Ego, can paralyze us and prevent us from moving forward. Interestingly, while we easily celebrate and accept the failures of others, we struggle to treat ourselves with the same kindness. This may be due to different areas of our brain being used for judging others and ourselves. Understanding the underlying causes of self-criticism can help us minimize shame, personal blame, and create a more gentle and kind internal space for personal growth.

    The Impact of Self-Criticism on Our Mental Well-being

    Self-criticism may have an evolutionary role in keeping us safe, but it can also be detrimental when it becomes excessive. The study shows a significant association between self-criticism and the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in regulating thoughts, emotions, error detection, resolution, and behavioral response. Self-criticism is considered a negative personality trait that exists on a spectrum, influenced by both genetics and upbringing. Adverse childhood experiences and upbringing, including persistent parental criticism and childhood bullying, can instill a negative self-image and feelings of inadequacy that continue into adulthood. Early relationships with caregivers and peers play a crucial role in shaping our self-esteem and self-concept. Excessive expectations and the need for approval can lead to internalizing these expectations and self-policing through excessive self-criticism. It is essential to recognize the impact of early experiences and strive for a loving and supportive environment to foster healthy self-esteem.

    The Impact of Upbringing on Self-Perception and Self-Criticism

    Our upbringing and the way we were treated by our parents or caregivers can have a profound impact on our self-perception and self-criticism. The distinction between conditional and unconditional positive regard highlights the harmful effects of receiving love, support, and praise only when we meet certain expectations or conditions. This can lead to a persistent belief that we are undeserving and that something is inherently wrong with us. Additionally, the words spoken to us in childhood can become the words we speak to ourselves in adulthood, manifesting as negative self-talk and an internal critic. Self-deprecating jokes and humor, although seemingly harmless, can still contribute to negative self-evaluation and the protection of our self-esteem and ego. Overall, our upbringing and experiences shape our perception of ourselves and can influence our behavior and motivation.

    Overcoming the Inner Critic and Embracing Self-Acceptance

    Our inner critic is fueled by overthinking and social comparison. We often believe that constantly analyzing our mistakes and comparing ourselves to others will help us prepare for the judgment of others and align with group norms. However, this negative self-talk originated from an evolutionary brain circuit called the default mode network, which aims to keep us in line with societal standards for acceptance and survival. It's important to realize that someone else's value and success does not diminish our own worth. Additionally, we tend to overestimate how much others notice and judge us, as everyone is primarily focused on themselves. So, instead of constantly worrying about others' opinions, we should focus on self-acceptance and understand that our own self-judgment holds more weight than others' judgments of us.

    Taking control of negative self-perception and finding self-compassion.

    We have the power to control our negative self-perception and stop judging ourselves harshly. It's important to recognize that the opinions of others do not define us and shouldn't impact our self-worth. We can rein in our inner voice by creating a psychological distance from our self-criticism. Personifying our inner critic by giving it a name and treating it as neither a friend nor an enemy allows us to detach it from our identity. This process, known as cognitive diffusion, reduces discomfort, stress, and promotes psychological flexibility. Our thoughts do not own us, and we can choose to think positively about ourselves. Radical self-compassion, loving ourselves unconditionally, can have a healing effect and empower us to demand respect from others.

    Cultivating self-compassion for inner healing and self-acceptance.

    Practicing radical self-compassion is essential for healing ourselves and reducing negative self-image. By emulating the love and compassion we typically receive from others and directing it towards ourselves, we can alleviate our own pain and stop being so hard on ourselves. This can be done by adopting the five love languages and applying them to ourselves - using kind words, giving ourselves positive affirmations, and treating ourselves with kindness and care. Practicing self-love also involves making time for self-reflection, engaging in activities that bring happiness and practicing self-soothing techniques like physical touch. By implementing these strategies, we can combat our inner critic, reduce shame and self-criticism, and ultimately improve our overall well-being.

    Cultivating Radical Self-Compassion

    Our self-image is influenced by the little things we do, wear, eat, and the people we interact with on a daily basis. It is important to not treat self-criticism as an enemy but to give ourselves occasional permission to be a bit mean, especially if negative self-talk is deeply ingrained. Allowing ourselves a few minutes to think those negative thoughts can help contain the habit and break free from them. Additionally, we should learn to be neutral towards our thoughts, especially those related to perceived failures or imperfections. Thoughts are just thoughts, not the truth, and we have the power to think them without believing them. It is a powerful realization to understand that our own judgments about ourselves, self-doubt, anxiety, body dysmorphia, and insecurity, do not define our true worth. With the prevalence of social media and constant exposure to others' seemingly perfect lives, it is common to engage in self-comparison and feel inherently bad. However, we can push back against these negative influences and cultivate radical self-compassion and cognitive diffusion, which can be life-changing.

    Recent Episodes from The Psychology of your 20s

    195. The psychology of codependency

    195. The psychology of codependency

    How can you tell if you're codependent or just really close to someone? If you are enmeshed or just reliant on their support? Feeling happy and stable in a loving relationship, or losing your independence? There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings when it come to codependent relationships, especially in our 20s and in today's episode we break down all you need to know and more, including: 

    • The roots of codependency in childhood and attachment theory
    • Signs of codependency¬†
    • Codependency v. dependency¬†
    • How to heal your need for intensity and trauma bonding¬†
    • Healing and restoring a codependent bond¬†

    Listen now! Today's episode is a rerun of Episode 69 whilst Jemma is recovering from a sudden illness. New episodes will be back on Friday, happy listening. 

     

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg

    Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    194. Are our attention spans getting shorter?

    194. Are our attention spans getting shorter?

    So many of us are struggling to stay focused and concentrate in an environment of constant distraction and temptation and it's causing a lot of us to feel unproductive and undisciplined. In today's episode we break down why our attention spans seem to be rapidly declining, we discuss: 

    • The Gold Fish myth
    • The average attention span from 2004-2017¬†
    • The impact of short form content
    • The impact of COVID lockdowns
    • Overstimulation and rising ADHD diagnoses¬†
    • Attentional cycles and our circadian rhythm¬†
    • Tips for regaining your focus + social media rules¬†

    Listen now to reclaim your focus and concentration and reverse your declining attention span. 

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg

    Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast 

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    193. The truth about avoidant attachment ft. Thais Gibson

    193. The truth about avoidant attachment ft. Thais Gibson

    Attachment theory is often misunderstood but when we have the correct knowledge and information it can transform how we relate to others. In today's episode we break down one of these styles, the avoidant attachment, along with it's two components: avoidant dismissive and avoidant fearful. We discuss how this style develops, its expression, the difference in prevalence and behaviours between men and women and how we can move forward and heal an avoidant pattern. 

    We are joined in today's episode by Thais Gibson, the founder of The Personal Development School and expert in attachment theory. Unlock your free trial using this link: www.personaldevelopmentschool.com/freetrial 

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg 

    Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast 

    Follow Thais and The Personal Development School on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thepersonaldevelopmentschool/?hl=en 

     

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    192. Feeling behind in your 20s

    192. Feeling behind in your 20s

    We have a lot of opportunities to feel behind in our 20s, especially when it comes to our careers, our finances and our relationships. In todays episode we break down why so many of us (roughly 80% of 20 something year olds) feeling like we're falling short of expectations, as well as how we can manage these feelings and enjoy our path through life without comparing it to someone others. We discuss:

    • The competitiveness of this generation
    • The wunderkind phenomena¬†
    • Career anxiety and starting over¬†
    • Relationship and dating inexperience¬†
    • The pandemic skip¬†
    • How to feel more sure of your own path and progress¬†

    AND, we hear from you, the listeners, about your experiences. Listen now! 

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg

    Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast

     

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    191. My favourite psychology studies of ALL TIME

    191. My favourite psychology studies of ALL TIME

    We have found some pretty amazing ways to observe human behaviour and from it, discovered some especially interesting things about how we operate, who we are at our core, our irrational beliefs and so much more. In today's episode, we break down five of my favourite psychology studies of all time from jam, to mental escapism and binge watching TV, how many friends we actually need, the healing power of nature and the origins of imposter syndrome. Listen now! 

    Study One: The Stanford Jam Experiment

    https://faculty.washington.edu/jdb/345/345%20Articles/Iyengar%20%26%20Lepper%20(2000).pdf

    Study Two: In your 20s it's quantity, in your 30s its quality 

    https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-10764-001 

    Study Three: Loneliness, Escapism, and Identification With Media Characters 

    https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.785970/full 

    Study Four: The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women

    https://www.paulineroseclance.com/pdf/ip_high_achieving_women.pdf 

    Study Five: Effects of Coastal Environment on Well-being 

    https://www.walshmedicalmedia.com/open-access/effects-of-the-coastal-environment-on-wellbeing-jczm-1000421.pdf 

     

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg

    Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast 

    Business enquiries: psychologyofyour20s@gmail.com

     

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    190. Fall in love with your own company!

    190. Fall in love with your own company!

    Finding the joy in your own company is one of the most healing, rewarding and fulfilling things we can do. It's also really difficult in an age of FOMO, constant distraction, stimulation and fear of boredom or loneliness. In today's episode we break down exactly why you need to fall back in love with your alone time, the amazing benefits and HOW to do it. Listen now! 

    Follow us on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast 

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    189. 5 ways to stop comparing yourself to others

    189. 5 ways to stop comparing yourself to others

    Social comparison is the thief of joy - it will make us question everything that we have, doubt our own abilities, steal our sense of gratitude and peace. It also sometimes feels impossible to escape, especially in our 20s when we look to others for confirmation that we are doing something right. In today's episode we break down the 5 rules you need to stop comparing yourself to others and embrace the benefits of healthy social comparison, this includes: 

    1. Don't unfollow, don't suppress, recognise and expand
    2. Keep your judgements realistic 
    3. Do things for YOU first
    4. Water your own grass 
    5. Comparison as a motivator 

    Listen now to learn how you can control your urge to compare yourself to others! 

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg 

    Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast

     

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    188. Why are we so indecisive?

    188. Why are we so indecisive?

    Our inability to make decisions is wasting our time, keeping us acting from a place of fear and stuck in a life we don't want! It's also not entirely our fault and often stems from unconscious mechanisms, neuroticism and fears that we haven't recognised. In today's episode we break down: 

    • Why you struggle to make decisions
    • The consequences of our chronic indecisiveness¬†
    • Perfection and indecision¬†
    • Choice overload¬†
    • A fear of failure¬†
    • How to overcome your indecisiveness using the 80/20 rule
    • The 'trusted advisor' method¬†

    Listen now! 

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg 

    Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast

     

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    187. Falling for a friend and the friendzone

    187.  Falling for a friend and the friendzone

    About 2/3rds of couples start off as friends according to recent research. But developing feelings for a friend isn't always a happily ever after situation. In today's episode we break down why it is that we fall in love with our friends, the principles of attraction such as the similarity liking effect and mere exposure effect, whether to say anything or keep it to yourself, managing the pain of rejection or social loss and your best tips for protecting the friendship and your own heart. Listen now! 

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg 

    Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast 

     

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    186. The psychology of sleep

    186. The psychology of sleep

    Sleep is one of our most vital functions but how many of us actually know that much about it, the links to our physical functioning, mental health, relationships and overall wellbeing. What about some of the strange experiments they've conducted to investigate dreams or how long we can go without sleep? In today's episode we take a deep dive into the psychology of sleep, including: 

    • Why we need sleep?
    • What actually is REM sleep?
    • The Russian Sleep Experiment¬†
    • Sleep debt¬†
    • Sleep as a form of self sabotage
    • Revenge bedtime procrastination¬†
    • The impact of blue light and screens in the bedroom¬†
    • How to improve your sleep hygiene and more¬†

    Listen now for when you want to maximise your shut eye! 

    Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg 

    Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast

    For business enquiries: psychologyofyour20s@gmail.com

     

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.