Step 1: Identify the critical voice

One way to find it is to look for the thoughts that you would be unwilling to say to another person because they sound hurtful. When you are used to being so hard on yourself, it can be hard to identify the self-critical voice because you accept it as “truth” or how things really are. Try to notice the names you call yourself most frequently when something goes wrong. This will alert you to the self-critical voice more quickly when it speaks up in the future. Your feelings can also give you a clue that this voice is unhelpful: If you are feeling ashamed or upset, it is unlikely that you will feel motivated to try again.

To identify the critical voice, record any self-critical thoughts you had in the past week.

Triggering event
Something someone does, something you do, or an upsetting image
Self-critical thoughts
What went through your mind? What does it say about you as a person?
Feelings e.g. sad, anxious, depressed, angry
What did you feel? Rate how strongly you feel from 0 to 10
Liz's example: Drawing something Liz's example: My drawing is awful. It looks awful in comparison to others. I can never draw well. I am a failure. Liz's example: Upset (8/10)