'You Are Good Enough' and 17 Other Reframes to Quiet the Inner Critic


Anxiety and depression have a powerful impact on the way we think. You may have noticed your own inner critic lash out in times of stress, attacking your self-esteem, second-guessing your decisions and making you feel hopeless about the future. Rather than participating in the negative cycle of critical thoughts, comfort yourself with positive reframes to help you feel more motivated, confident and empowered to overcome anxiety and depression. Practice one of the reframes below when you are feeling stressed and pay attention to the impact it has on your mood.

Remember: You deserve to be happy!

Thought: I feel worthless.
Reframe: I am good enough.

Thought: Today was awful!
Reframe: Tomorrow is a new day.

Thought: I’m such an idiot.
Reframe: Everyone makes mistakes.

Thought: I feel like garbage.
Reframe: I deserve to be happy.

Thought: It’s all my fault.
Reframe: I can take responsibility for my actions without beating myself up for it.

Thought: I don’t know what to do.
Reframe: Not knowing is part of the process of finding out.

Thought: I’m not good enough.
Reframe: I’m doing the best I can.

Thought: Don’t get close. I’ll just get hurt.
Reframe: There is bravery in vulnerability.

Thought: I can’t believe I did something so stupid.
Reframe: I learn something new every day.

Thought: I can’t do this.
Reframe: I am not alone.

Thought: I am ugly.
Reframe: I can love myself for who I am.

Thought: When will this feeling end?
Reframe: I can stay present in this one moment and breathe.

Thought: There is something wrong with me.
Reframe: I have so much to offer.

Thought: Why does everyone else have it figured out?
Reframe: Other people are struggling too, even if I can’t see it.

Thought: I am a failure.
Reframe: I feel this way when I am stressed, and it will pass.

Thought: I can’t take this anymore.
Reframe: I am strong, even when I don’t feel like I am.

Thought: I am so ashamed.
Reframe: I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Thought: No one really loves me.
Reframe: Learning to love myself will help me feel love from others.

When you make it to the end of this list, go ahead and start again. Taming your inner critic will take practice and will come more easily the more you do it. You are not alone.

Anna Lindberg Cedar, MPA, LCSW #64284 is a therapist providing counseling to adults, teens and couples in Oakland. She is a fierce advocate for mental health and a strong believer in the power of self-care. Find out more: www.annacedar.com

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

 Thinkstock photo via Sergey_Peterman

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

image of three women taking selfie and smiling, one wearing a wedding dress

8 Ways Life Is Better With an Equally Anxious Friend

You know what is better than having a “best friend?” Having a “best mental health friend” — someone who can relate to all the ups and downs (and lefts and rights) of navigating life with depression and anxiety. 1. Nothing you say is weird, nothing. “Phone phobia?” That one usually gets some strange looks, but not when you say it [...]
close up image of business team holding hands together on wooden table in warm light

How I Found Mental Health Support in an Unlikely Place

One of the most difficult things I have found about having a mental health condition is the loneliness. For years, I have hidden behind a mask, behind good humor and smiles. I have always been the person to offer support and advice to others, the person who seemed to have my life together. In reality, [...]

To the Friends I've Pushed Away While Working Through My Mental Illness

Lately, I’ve been feeling guilty. I wish I didn’t feel that way. I wish I could easily believe I’m taking care of myself, and that I’m not responsible for how other people feel, what other people are doing or how they react to me. But I can’t. Not yet, anyway. I’m working on my ability [...]
Couple in love.

How Mental Illness Can Sometimes Make a Relationship Feel 'Wrong' When It's Not

Finally, happily, wonderfully, you’re in a healthy relationship. This might be after a long string of bad ones, that toxic one that lasted too long or no relationship at all.  While a healthy relationship is good, and can often be helpful to someone struggling with a mental illness, it sometimes can still feel “wrong.” Not the kind [...]