Silence the inner critic: How to stop believing the lies after breakup

two hands holding string which is all tangled up

Breakups and divorce can be brutal. One minute you're planning your future, the next you're crippled with anxiety and self doubt. It's easy to fall into a spiral of negative thoughts, especially when your inner critic screams, "It's all your fault! You're not good enough!" 

But here's the truth: those thoughts are just that – thoughts. And you have the power to control them.

Let's be honest, the blame game gets you nowhere.  Instead, let's focus on  building ourselves back up, stronger and more confident than ever. Here are some actionable tips to silence that inner critic and reclaim your self-worth:

  • Catch Yourself in the Act:  The first step is awareness. When you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts, acknowledge them.  Say to yourself, "There I go again with the negativity train." Don't judge yourself, just recognise the pattern. It might be helpful to name the negative voice. I had a client who called her voice “Janice” and everytime Janice popped into her head she pushed her outt again.
  • Challenge the Lies:  Don't accept those negative thoughts as facts.  Ask yourself, "Is this truly reflective of who I am?"  Most likely, it's your heartbreak talking, not reality.
  • Reframe the Narrative:  Instead of "I'm not good enough," try "This is a tough time, but I'm strong and capable."  Focus on your strengths and positive qualities.
  • Fact-Check Your Critic:  Would you talk to a friend this way?  Absolutely not! Treat yourself with that same kindness and compassion.
  • Practice Gratitude:  Shift your focus from what's lacking to what you're grateful for.  Write down three things you appreciate about yourself each day. When you are feeling low, re-reread the list to remind yourself of how great you are.
  • Focus on the Present:  Don't ruminate on the past or worry about the future.  Bring your attention to the present moment and the things you can control. A great way to bring yourself back to the present moment is to focus on your breathing. 
  • Self-Care is Key:  You can't pour from an empty cup.  Prioritise activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul.  Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and do things that bring you joy.
  • Positive Affirmations:  Repeat positive statements about yourself daily.  Over time, these affirmations can help rewrite the negative script in your head. I always suggest to clients that they write affirmations on post-it notes and stick them in places liek the bathroom cabinet so that they can repeat them when they are brushing their teeth.
  • Celebrate Small Wins:  Acknowledge your progress, no matter how small.  Every step forward is a victory!

Remember, changing your mindset takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself, and don't get discouraged if negative thoughts creep back in.  The key is to keep practicing these strategies.

Think of your brain like a muscle. The more you train it with positive thoughts and self-compassion, the weaker those negative voices become. With consistent effort, you'll silence the inner critic and reclaim your confidence. You are worthy of love and happiness, and this is just the beginning of a beautiful new chapter in your story.

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