It’s time to work on that inner critic

Do you live with someone who is constantly saying negative things about themselves, or has low self-esteem? Perhaps that person is you?

Grab some post-it notes and try this simple but effective activity.


It’s time to work on that inner critic.

At Project:ME we work with young people who feel their self-image is something they would like to improve. Self-criticism is often holding them back. They talk extremely negatively about what they look like. We often hear boys and girls say, “I’m fat, my hair looks awful.” “I don’t look as good as my friends; my skin isn’t as clear as people on the TV/online.”

Over the last year, and during the lockdown of 2020/21, we’ve noticed many children and young people saying that online sessions has made them feel awful. Why? They’re constantly comparing themselves with others on the screen. This was extremely sad to hear.

We know social media has its part to play. We hear how stressful scrolling through pages of others ‘perfect life’, or a ‘perfect body’ can be. It impacts the way children go on to develop limiting beliefs. If unchecked at a young age, it can take us into adulthood with an inner voice that can be described as a ‘saboteur’. It could have a negative effect on what they do and whom they become.

Reframing self-talk is a great place to start. Having affirming phrases and regularly practising speaking kindly to ourselves will start to disrupt negative patterns.


Grab the post-it notes and let’s get started!

Create positive examples on the post-it notes to express what they would like to say about themselves. Say these words out loud and often! You may need to help your young person to do this as they may find it hard to find the words. Think, what do you see in them? What would their friends say? Or what would they say about others? They’re all good questions to ask.


Keep it up…

Encourage working on positive self-talk on a daily basis. Perhaps keep your post-its near their laptop, or around their mirror in their room, somewhere they may feel vulnerable. At a subconscious level, these words will start to help them identify qualities within them, the truth of their beauty and encourage a positive perception of themselves.

Adults, this works well for us as well. Be kind to yourself and tell yourself you look great daily.

Because you do!