We can be our own worst enemy. It’s a New Year so start by confronting and processing your inner critic.

Bullies come in all shapes and forms, but the most powerful and insidious is the bully within. Read on for three strategies, recommended by anxiety specialist Laura Forsyth, to deal with your inner critic.

Step one: Identify

It’s most likely that your inner critic has been flying under the radar. Being critical of yourself can make you feel stressed, sad, and push you to act by addictive behaviour. Essentially all these factors will lower your confidence and self-esteem.

Identify when your inner critic kicks in – when, where and why do you become critical?

It may be at work with colleagues, in the home with family or while out with friends.

Raise your personal awareness and attention of what your mind is up to.

Step two: Change

Everyone has an inner critic, despite how successful, attractive or strong they might be. Inner critics are especially prevalent in people with addictions.

Remember that the inner critic represents your most subliminal insecurities and worries. Explore these fears and use your inner critic to work through insecurities rather than making them worse.

Change your inner critic’s voice into constructive criticism!

Step three: Manage

Lessen the impact of your inner critic by surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people. Supportive friends will raise your confidence, and help you to feel happy with who you are.

Talking to someone about your stresses and fears is often the most positive method.

No matter how you choose to manage your inner critic, remember that it is a personal recovery and journey. Your inner critic will always exist, but use it to improve, progress and move forward, rather than allowing it to hold you back.

Begin the New Year with a positive personal outlook!