Want the big secret about your teen’s inner critic? One that gives you hope when you hear your teen say…
- I’m not good enough to make the team.
- I’ll just get it wrong.
- There’s no way I could do that…?
Well, here it is…. the inner critic is actually trying to help your teen!
Each time your teen sets a stretch goal and achieves it, their critic(al thinking) has been the problem-solving, decision-making powerhouse that got them there.
But, your teen’s inner critic can get stuck in overdrive. Understandable as they navigate 24-7 challenges like social media, increasingly difficult classes, “mean girls,” and puberty.
But your teen doesn’t have to be stuck with negative self-talk forever.
It is possible to help your teen reclaim their self-confidence with a positive inner voice by using these highly-effective teen life-coaching practices.
3 Mindset Hacks to Kick Negative Self-Talk to the Curb
1. Practice Mindfulness and Self-Compassion.
Pay attention to your thoughts and notice when critical, judging statements come up.
When those harsh thoughts appear, ask your inner voice to rephrase them… to speak to you like it’s speaking to a friend. Most of us judge ourselves very harshly, but are more compassionate toward others dealing with the same issue.
If it’s challenging to do this in your mind, try writing down the judgement and rephrasing it in a journal.
2. Diffuse the Negative Energy with Humor.
Turn your inner critic into a cartoon character. Give it a silly name, imagine a goofy voice and funny appearance. That will make it easier to separate the voice from who your teen is as a person and shrink its power.
3. Be Prepared.
Notice what situations cause the inner voice to be the most harsh. When does the chatter start to pop-up and why? Once you’re aware of this, you can enter those nerve-wracking situations with an empowering plan.
My favorite plan is to quickly pair a negative statement with a positive one. For example, “I completely messed that conversation up, and I am worthy anyway.” Or, “I hate this job and I have the strength to figure out how to create a new path.”
This practice reminds us that we are in control of our thinking. And, it triggers brain neurons that elevate optimism, positive self-regard, and creativity.
Together, these habits will help your teen manage their inner voice in real-time. They’ll become happier and more confident in their true Self, with the tools to manage negative thoughts any time they creep in.
I’ve seen amazing transformations when teens learn to run their inner dialogue with self-compassion and train their inner critic to have a supporting — instead of leading — role.
To take these DIY life-hacks a step further, find a coach or school counselor to guide your teen through a future-self exercise.
If you need more support helping your teen, reach out for a free 30-minute strategy call. I’m here to help!
May you and your teen truly live the life of your dreams,
Founder, Life Success for Teens