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'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:

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 Thinkstock photo via Sergey_Peterman
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