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Visualizing your inner critic helps change patterns of negative thought.

John-Paul Flintoff, author of How To Change The World, says we all have our own particular set of automatic negative thoughts, but they tend to fall into broadly similar categories.

Black and white thinking, with no grey areas: “I’ve completely failed.” “Everyone else can do it”.

Mind reading other people:“They think I’m boring.” “People must think I’m stupid.”

Crystal-ball gazing: “There’s no point in trying. It won’t work.”

Over-generalisation: “This relationship ended, so I won’t ever meet anybody.”

Disqualifying the positive: “I may be a good mother, but anybody can do that.”

Drama queen: “I can’t find my purse. I’m going senile.”

Unrealistic expectations: “I should keep going, even when I’m tired.”

Name calling, to self an others: “Silly fool.”

Self-blame: “She looks cross. It must be my fault.”

Catastrophising: “Nothing is ever going to work for me.”

Any of those seem familiar?

If so, don’t worry! He also has a solution for you. To learn how to use your negative inner critic to make positive change read: How to Silence Negative Thinking.