As you go about your day, notice how often your inner voice makes judgments about yourself. Do you criticize yourself for mistakes, perceived flaws in your appearance or personality, or unachieved goals? This is an insidious habit that erodes self-confidence and inner peace. The good news is that you have the power to break this habit. With conscious effort and practice, you can retrain your mind to be kinder to yourself.

Learn to observe your thoughts without judgment, challenge negative self-talk, practice self-compassion, and celebrate your wins each day. Breaking the habit of constant judgment is challenging, but the rewards of greater confidence, contentment, and inner calm make the effort worthwhile. You deserve to be your own best friend. With the strategies in this article, you can learn how to stop self-judgement and make progress each day toward breaking this habit for good.

What Is Self-Judgment, and Why Do We Do It?

It refers to the act of harshly criticizing oneself for perceived faults or inadequacies. We engage in self-judgment for several reasons:

  • Low self-esteem. When we have a negative view of ourselves, we are prone to do judgment as a way to confirm those beliefs.
  • Unrealistic expectations. We may judge ourselves for failing to meet excessively high standards we have set for ourselves or that we believe others have set for us.
  • Perfectionism. The tendency to demand perfection from oneself leads to self-judgment when perfection is unattainable.
  • Habit.It can become an automatic habit due to repeated practice over time. Breaking this habit requires conscious effort and practice.

To overcome the habit of self-judgment, try the following:

  1. Practice self-compassion. Speak to yourself with kindness and empathy, as you would someone you care about. Forgive yourself for mistakes and imperfections.
  2. Challenge negative thoughts. Notice self-critical thoughts and try to adopt a more balanced perspective. Look for evidence that contradicts your negative views.
  3. Accept yourself. Learn to appreciate yourself as you are instead of harshly judging yourself for perceived flaws or inadequacies. You are enough.
  4. Set realistic expectations. Do not demand perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself that account for your humanity.
  5. Be mindful. Pay close attention to your thoughts and notice when it arises. Make a deliberate effort to shift to a kinder inner voice. With regular practice, can become habitual.

Breaking this habit is challenging but rewarding work. With patience and perseverance, you can overcome self-judgment and cultivate self-acceptance and inner peace.

The Negative Impact of Self-Judgment

It can have serious negative consequences for your mental and emotional well-being.

  • It fosters feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. When you constantly criticize yourself, you start to believe those criticisms, chipping away at your self-esteem and confidence in your abilities.
  • It leads to anxiety and depression. Harsh self-judgment activates your body’s stress response, releasing cortisol and adrenaline. Over time, this can lead to more chronic anxiety and depression.
  • It limits your potential. Fear of failure and self-criticism prevent you from taking risks and challenging yourself. You avoid new opportunities and settle for less than your best.
  • It strains your relationships. The way you talk to yourself is the way you talk to others. It often comes across as judgmentalness towards friends and loved ones, damaging intimacy and trust.
  • It causes unhealthy perfectionism. Holding yourself to unrealistic standards creates an endless cycle of perceived failure, disappointment, and self-blame. This level of perfectionism is unsustainable and unachievable.

How to Stop Self-Judgement

Rather than harsh judgment, show yourself kindness. Talk to yourself as you would someone you care about. Be gentle with your imperfections and mistakes. Forgive yourself for perceived shortcomings. I appreciate your efforts and accomplishments, both big and small. Make it a habit to be your own best friend.

1. Recognize Your Self-Judgment Triggers

Recognize Your Self-Judgment Triggers
Recognize Your Self-Judgment Triggers

To break this habit you must first recognize the triggers that activate those critical inner voices.

Notice Your Negative Thought patterns.

Pay attention to the types of situations that cause you to judge yourself harshly. Do you criticize yourself after a mistake at work or school? After an argument with a friend or family member, When you don’t meet the expectations you’ve set for yourself? Identifying these triggers will help you anticipate self-judgment and reframe those thoughts.

Challenge Your Inner Critic.

Don’t accept those self-judging thoughts as truth. Question them, and look for evidence that contradicts them. Try to adopt a kinder, more compassionate perspective. For example, if you start to think, “I’m so stupid for messing up that presentation,” challenge it with, “Everyone makes mistakes. I’m still learning and improving. One presentation won’t define me.” Responding to your inner critic with empathy and encouragement can help shift your mindset over time.

With regular practice, you can overcome it and cultivate self-compassion. Be patient and give yourself space to learn and grow. You deserve to treat yourself with kindness. Breaking this habit will open you up to greater peace of mind, happiness, and well-being.

2. Accept Yourself as You Are.

Accept Yourself as You Are
Accept Yourself as You Are

To stop judging yourself, an important step is to accept yourself as you are.

Acknowledge both your strengths and weaknesses.

We all have positive and negative qualities, skills, and experiences that make us who we are. Recognize the abilities, talents, and accomplishments that make you uniquely you. Also, accept the parts of yourself that you perceive as flaws or weaknesses. Do not criticize yourself for what you lack or could improve. Simply acknowledge these attributes in a neutral, non-judgmental manner.

Avoid comparison with others.

Do not measure your self-worth by comparing yourself to others. There will always be people who seem better or worse off in some way. Focus on your journey, and celebrate your progress and milestones. Comparing yourself to unrealistic societal standards of perfection or success will only fuel feelings of inadequacy.

Avoid Harsh Self-Criticism.

Be kind to yourself and avoid harsh self-criticism. Treat yourself with the same compassion you would show a friend. Speak to yourself with encouragement and praise for your efforts and accomplishments, however small. Forgive yourself for perceived mistakes, failures, or imperfections. No one is flawless, so do not demand perfection from yourself.

Value yourself for who you are.

Learn to appreciate yourself for who you are at your core—your personality, spirit, and character. Your inherent worth has nothing to do with what you achieve or acquire in life. You are deserving of love and belonging simply because you exist. Make the choice each day to fully accept yourself, with all your perceived flaws and imperfections. In doing so, you will find inner peace and freedom.

3. Challenge Your Inner Critic

Challenge Your Inner Critic
Challenge Your Inner Critic

This is the voice that constantly evaluates and criticizes you. It can be harsh and unrelenting, damaging your self-esteem and holding you back from personal growth.

Read more

Identify Your Inner critic.

The first step is recognizing when your inner critic is speaking. Pay attention to negative thoughts about yourself and look for patterns. Common examples include:

  • “I’m not good enough.”
  • “I should have done better.”
  • “I’ll never succeed.”

Challenge Its Messages

Once you’ve identified self-judgmental thoughts, challenge them with more constructive ones. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What evidence do I have that the thought is true? Often, there is little evidence to support the criticism.
  • How else can I view the situation? Try to find a more balanced and compassionate perspective.
  • What would I say to a friend in this situation? We are often kinder to others than ourselves. Offer yourself the same compassion.

Challenging your inner critic will help strengthen your self-esteem and allow you to pursue meaningful goals without fear of failure or judgment. Be patient and consistent, as overcoming this is an ongoing practice. With time and effort, you can break the habit of harsh self-criticism and build confidence from within.

4. Focus on Your Strengths and accomplishments.

Focus on Your Strengths and accomplishments
Focus on Your Strengths and accomplishments.

To break it shift your focus to your strengths and accomplishments. Recognizing your wins, big and small, helps build self-confidence from within.

Make a list.

Sit down and write out a list of your talents, skills, achievements, and qualities you like about yourself. Include both big milestones and small victories. Look at this list regularly to remind yourself of your strengths and maintain a balanced perspective.

Recall compliments

Think back to the genuine compliments you have received from others over the years. Write them down and read them over when your self-judgment starts to take over. Let the kind words from others sink in. Their praise highlights what they value in you, so try to see yourself through their eyes.

Accept Yourself

Learn to accept yourself as you are instead of harshly judging yourself for perceived mistakes or flaws. Speak to yourself with encouragement and praise, as you would a close friend. Be gentle with yourself and avoid extreme self-criticism. Everyone has weaknesses and makes errors, so try not to single yourself out.

Read more

Focusing on your strengths and accomplishments, recalling compliments from others, and practicing self-compassion are powerful techniques for overcoming destructive judgment. Make these strategies a habit, and you will strengthen your self-confidence from within, accepting yourself with grace and wisdom. With practice and persistence, you can break free from the tendency to judge yourself too critically.

5. Practice Mindfulness.

Practice Mindfulness
Practice Mindfulness

This means focusing your awareness on the present moment rather than judging yourself for past actions or worrying about the future.

Pay Attention to Your thoughts.

Notice the thoughts that arise, and try not to attach judgment to them. Simply observe your thoughts as if you’re watching clouds pass by. This helps create distance between you and your judgments, making them feel less personal.

Challenge Negative thoughts.

When a self-critical thought pops up, challenge it with a more constructive one. Ask yourself questions like, “What evidence do I have that this thought is true?” to gain a more balanced perspective. Try replacing “I’m so stupid” with “I made a mistake, but that doesn’t define my intelligence or self-worth.”

Read more

Focus on the Present

Rather than rehashing the past or worrying about the future, focus your mind on the present moment and your immediate surroundings. Notice small details in your environment. Appreciate simple pleasures. Your judgmental thoughts will fade into the background, giving your mind a rest from their constant chatter. Staying present helps cultivate peace and acceptance.

Breaking the habit of self-judgment requires patience and practice. Be gentle with yourself when you slip up and return your focus to mindfulness. Over time, it will become your default, and judgmental thoughts will lose their power and frequency. You deserve to be free from harsh self-criticism so you can live a happier, more fulfilling life.

6. Limit Social Media use.

Limit Social Media use
Limit Social Media use.

Limiting your social media use can help reduce self-judgment. Social media platforms are designed to be highly curated versions of people’s lives, focusing on achievements, life events, vacations, and other highlights. Constant exposure to these carefully crafted posts can fuel comparisons and negative self-talk.

Reduce Time on Social Media.

The less time you spend scrolling through social media, the less opportunity there is for self-judgment. Set limits for yourself, such as checking just once or twice a day or avoiding it altogether on weekends. Unsubscribe from accounts that trigger self-criticism, and unfollow people who make you feel inadequate in comparison.

Read more

Be Selective in What You share.

When you do use social media, be selective about what you share. Post updates, photos, and life events that are meaningful to you rather than trying to portray an idealized image of your life to impress others or gain validation. Share your authentic self rather than a curated version designed for likes and comments.

Evaluate Your Motivations.

Evaluate why you’re using social media and whether it’s positively serving you. If you find yourself obsessively seeking likes, comments, and validation from others, it may help to take a break to reflect on where this motivation is coming from and work to build your self-confidence from within rather than relying on external sources.

Read more

Spend Time on Self-care.

Replace the time you would have spent on social media with self-care activities that boost your self-esteem, like exercising, spending time with supportive friends and family, engaging in hobbies, practicing gratitude, and being kind to yourself. Make sure to give yourself credit for your accomplishments and the meaningful aspects of your actual life rather than comparing them to the curated lives of others online.

In summary, limiting social media use and being highly selective in what you share can help shift your focus inward and strengthen your self-confidence and self-worth. Replace social media time with self-care and surround yourself with your authentic support network in real life. Learn to validate yourself from within rather than seeking approval from curated posts online. With time and practice, you can break the habit of self-judgment.

7. Identify Your Negative Self-talk.

Identify Your Negative Self-talk
Identify Your Negative Self-talk.

Listen for judgmental thoughts about yourself throughout the day. Notice the words and phrases you use to criticize yourself for your perceived flaws, mistakes, and inadequacies.

Common examples of negative self-talk include:

  • “I’m so stupid.”
  • “I’ll never be good enough.”
  • “Why can’t I ever do anything right?”

Record these instances of negative self-talk in a journal or notebook. Also, note the situations that trigger these thoughts. Look for patterns in the language you use and the types of events that spur self-judgment. Recognizing these patterns is the first step to changing them.

Read more

Once you have identified examples of your negative self-talk, reframe those thoughts into more constructive ones. For each judgmental statement, replace it with a kinder and more supportive alternative. For example:

  • “I’m so stupid” could become “I made a mistake. Mistakes help me learn.”
  • “I’ll never be good enough” could shift to “I am enough as I am.”
  • “Why can’t I ever do anything right?” may transform into “I am still learning and improving each day.”

This habit developed over years of negative experiences and messages internalized by others. It will take conscious practice and patience to adopt new patterns of positive self-talk. Be gentle with yourself as you work to make this change. Each time you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, take a deep breath and reframe your thoughts with compassion and encouragement. Over time, positivity and self-acceptance will become your new normal. Breaking free of self-judgment is a journey, not a destination. Celebrate each small win along the way.

8. Practice Self-compassion.

Practice Self-compassion
Practice Self-compassion

Practicing is vital to breaking the habit of self-judgment. It means treating yourself with kindness, empathy, and care. It involves being gentle with yourself when you fail or make a mistake, rather than harsh self-criticism.

Speak to Yourself with kindness.

Notice the tone you use when speaking to yourself. Replace harsh self-talk with kind and encouraging words. For example, instead of calling yourself “lazy” or “stupid” after a mistake, try saying, “It’s okay. I’m still learning.” Speaking with compassion helps create new mental habits.

Avoid Comparisons

Comparing yourself to others fuels feelings of inadequacy and judgment. Appreciate yourself for who you are—your unique skills, talents, and personality. Avoid thoughts like “She’s so much smarter and prettier than me.” You are on your journey.

Be Gentle with Your Flaws and mistakes.

Perfection is an illusion. Learn to accept yourself as you are, imperfections and all. When you make a mistake, avoid criticism and self-blame. Say to yourself, “I’m human. It’s okay that I messed up.” Judge your actions, not your self-worth.

  • Practice meditation or yoga.
  • Journal about your feelings and responses to life’s events. Look for self-judgmental thoughts.
  • Do small acts of self-care each day, like taking a relaxing bath, exercising, or pursuing a hobby.
  • Seek professional help from a therapist if needed. They can help reframe negative thought patterns and support you in developing self-compassion.

Be patient and gentle with yourself along the way. You deserve to be happy, and compassion is the foundation for a joyful life filled with inner peace. Focus on progress, not perfection.

9. Avoid Comparisons With others.

Avoid Comparisons With others
Avoid Comparisons With others.

To stop judging yourself, avoid comparing yourself to others.

Focus on your journey.

Your progress and growth are personal to you. Do not measure your success or worth based on what other people are achieving or the status they have gained.

  1. Everyone has their own path in life, with different circumstances and at their own pace. Do not compare where you are in your career, relationships, finances, health, or other life areas to anyone else’s.
  2. Stay focused on your individual goals and values rather than society’s expectations or norms. Do not let other people make you feel inadequate or like you have to prove your worth. You are enough as you are.
  3. Do not let social media posts trigger self-judgment or doubt in you. Many only posted curated glimpses into their lives, not the full, authentic story. Their posts say more about them than you.

Appreciate yourself for who you are.

Do not dwell on perceived flaws or imperfections. Everyone has them, so practice self-acceptance and be kind to yourself. Focus on your good qualities, strengths, talents, and things you like about yourself. Value your uniqueness.

Gratitude helps combat judgment.

When you start judging yourself, shift your mindset to one of gratitude. Appreciate what you have achieved and the good things in your life. Be grateful for lessons learned from perceived mistakes or shortcomings. Finding the positive will help silence the inner critic.

Read more

Comparing yourself to others is an unhealthy habit that often leads to diminished self-esteem and anxiety. Choose to avoid comparisons, follow your path, and appreciate yourself for who you are. Focus inward on your growth rather than outward on what others are doing. Breaking this habit will lead to greater peace and contentment. You will realize you are enough, just as you are.

10. Forgive Yourself for Past mistakes.

Forgive Yourself for Past mistakes
Forgive Yourself for Past mistakes.

To forgive yourself for past mistakes, follow these steps:

Acknowledge Your mistakes.

The first step is to acknowledge the mistakes you’ve made. Identify specific instances where you judged yourself harshly and how that self-judgment made you feel. Recognize that you handled the situation as best as you could at the time with the knowledge and skills you had.

Learn From Your mistakes.

While you can’t change the past, you can choose to learn from your mistakes. Ask yourself what you can improve on next time. Perhaps you need better coping strategies for stress or more confidence in your abilities. Set small goals to build up your skills and confidence over time. Growth is a journey, not a destination.

Be kind to yourself.

Talk to yourself with encouragement and praise, not harsh self-criticism. You are human, and all humans make mistakes. Would you speak to a friend the way you speak to yourself? Treat yourself with the same compassion.

Forgive Yourself

Choose to forgive yourself for any mistakes or imperfections. Say it out loud: “I forgive myself for [specify mistakes].” Permit yourself to let go of self-judgment and regret. Forgiving yourself is a gift of freedom and peace of mind. You deserve to be happy.

The path to self-forgiveness starts with you. Be gentle with yourself, and remember that every day is an opportunity for a fresh start. Rather than dwell on past errors, look ahead to the bright future before you, filled with possibility.

11. Focus on Growth, Not outcomes.

Focus on Growth, Not outcomes
Focus on Growth, Not outcomes.

To break this habit, shift your mindset to focus on your growth and progress rather than outcomes or results.

Progress, not perfection Do not judge yourself for imperfections or temporary failures. View them as learning opportunities and chances to grow. Celebrate small wins and milestones to stay motivated. Compare yourself only to your past self to see how far you’ve come, rather than to others.

Develop a Growth mindset.

Adopt a growth mindset by believing your abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and persistence. View challenges and obstacles as ways to improve rather than as threats. Growth-minded individuals embrace failure and see it as a natural part of progress. They understand that failure is temporary, but growth is lifelong.

Read more

Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself. Do not be harsh or judgmental when you make a mistake or experience a setback. Talk to yourself with empathy, compassion, and encouragement. Imagine how you would speak to a close friend struggling in a similar situation. Treat yourself with that same level of patience, support, and kindness.

Read more

Learn from Your mistakes.

Do not dwell on your errors or imperfections. Instead, look for the lessons they provide. Ask yourself what you can improve and how you can grow from the experience. Then, forgive yourself and move forward, armed with new knowledge and wisdom. Continuous self-reflection and improvement will help break the habit of harsh self-judgment.

In summary, focus on progress over perfection, develop a growth mindset, show yourself compassion, and learn from your mistakes. Replace self-judgment with self-reflection, and watch as your confidence and contentment grow.


You now have the awareness and tools to begin breaking the habit of self-judgment. It will take conscious effort and practice, but you can overcome negative self-talk. When you find yourself being harshly self-critical, stop and reframe your thoughts into more constructive ones. Be kind to yourself and focus on your strengths, values, and accomplishments.

Learn from your perceived mistakes and imperfections rather than judging yourself for them. With time and consistency, self-compassion can become your default state of mind. You deserve to lead a joyful life free from the tyranny of inner judgment and criticism. Make the choice today to be gentle with yourself. You are perfectly imperfect, and that is enough.


Let’s Boost your self-growth with Believe in Mind

Interested in self- reflection tips, learning hacks and know thyself with ways to calm down your mind; We offer you the best content which you have been looking for.

Email Subscriber Forum

Your privacy is important to us

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Email Subscriber Forum