How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others With 10 Realistic Tips

It’s Tuesday night and after a gruelling day at work, all you want to do is watch Annalise Keating slay in a courtroom. While you wait for Netflix to load, you open up Instagram and start scrolling. Your feed is full of amazing successes – did your friend really complete an Ironman triathlon?? Wild, I could never do that. And another friend just started her own thrift shop?? Wasn’t that just a side hustle a week ago? Damn. She’s a badass entrepreneur…and wtf am I doing? Does that sound familiar at all? It’s time to find out how to stop comparing yourself to others because there is a never ending feed on every. single. social. media. platform.

10 Realistic Ways To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

The last thing we want is to set you up with a grand goal that’s easier said than done. We promise this isn’t another “just stop doing it” post. (because sure, we get it. why didn’t you think of that??)

Instead, let’s get real for a minute. We want to look at examples that actually happen in real life (disclaimer: these ones have literally ALL happened to us) and see if we can learn a thing or two together. Keep in mind that it’s a journey and the work to stop comparing yourself to others is never really done.

1. Be Aware Of Your Triggers

Triggers are situations and stimuli that bring about a specific reaction. When we talk about triggers, we talk about the things that you know make you feel a certain way. For example, a trigger for anxiety could be too much caffeine. An example of an emotional trigger could be rejection. For some people, a trigger for self-worth could be driving through million dollar neighbourhoods for one person, while for others the trigger could be brunching at very high end restaurants with friends who earn way more. You see where we’re going with this?

Learn to identify your triggers and become aware of them. What happens to your thoughts and feelings when you scroll through social media? What aspects do you perceive as “success” in others that triggers your sense of worth? Who do you compare yourself to most often and why?

When you figure out what triggers you, you can work through those emotions more easily. You can also try to avoid those triggers altogether. Go easy on the caffeine, suggest a different brunch spot, and dude don’t even think about driving around those golf-course backed properties… 

2. Remind Yourself That Your Fears And Insecurities Are Universal

You’re actually perfectly normal in feeling this need to compare…it’s universal! It’s ingrained in the way we operate and the way the human mind works. The best thing we get out of it is the motivation to do more and achieve more, and even a boost to your self-esteem!

But the worst thing we get out of it is a feeling of inferiority. Like we’re less than and not enough and not worthy. This feeling can be so overpowering that we are writing a whole article about it.

Remind yourself that other people feel it too. We promise you that the people you see as perfect and successful have insecurities of their own. They compare themselves to the Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerbergs of the world and that also makes them feel like shit. Their fears of not being worthy enough and not being successful enough are as real as yours.

3. Your Social Media Feed Is Full Of Distorted Realities

Repeat after us: social media is just a highlight reel. One more time, so that it really sinks in. Social media is just a highlight reel.

The perfectly incandescently happy posts you see on social media are just a snapshot of that person’s life. One moment in time that gets documented and posted. And maybe it really was a perfect moment where that person felt so much joy, they decided to share it with the world! 

But there are also many struggles that we don’t see. Social media is a distorted reality where we won’t ever really get the full picture.

4. Repeat Your Priorities When You Start To Forget 

You know you’re not a person who values money more than job satisfaction. You KNOW that and yet you still feel like shit when you hear how much more your friend earns. That envy eats away at you even though you would never actually work in that field.

This is a good time to think about your priorities! Make a quick list and jot down 3 or 4 things that you want in life more than anything. Focus on what it will take to achieve these goals and that should snap you out of it.

That pull towards validation is normal and if you catch yourself wrapped up in it, bring it back to your priorities.

5. Start Practicing And Living In Gratitude

There’s this thing that happens when you start to be actively grateful. It’s like a strong dose of happiness that goes right into your core and starts to shine throughout your whole body.

Start with 3 things, small or huge, that you’re grateful for every day. Write them down on any piece of paper you find laying around you. Use the leftover McDonalds napkins in your car if you have to.

Be aware of your focus as it shifts from what you don’t have, to what you do have. Gratitude journaling will make you rediscover the many many many things that bring you joy.

**cough cough, like Henry Cavill. So grateful we’re alive to see him grace our screens.

6. Shift The Focus Back To You

Shine the spotlight on your own achievements. Toot your own horn for a hot minute. Let’s bring the focus back to the hard work you’ve done to get to where you are.

If you’re a perfectionist, you often forget to celebrate the smaller milestones along the way because you’re so focused on getting to the finish line. Then you start comparing yourself to others and literally lose track of all the progress you’ve done. How productive!

Let’s end comparison to others by highlighting 3 goals you’ve achieved in the past month. Go.

7. Remember We Compare The Worst Of Ourselves With The Best Of Others

Here’s a new perspective for you, courtesy of best-selling author Joshua Becker. We look at others’ success through the lens of our own weaknesses. 

That means we’ll compare what we assume is the “best” about someone else to our own insecurities that we feel strongly about. Have you noticed a general theme when you start comparing yourself to others? Is it when you see a post about a (presumed) happy long-term relationship? Is it when you see someone’s progress in the corporate world?

We’re also so much tougher on ourselves than we are on our friends. That harsh internal critic can leave us feeling discouraged, even before we begin comparing ourselves to others. The best cure we know for that is self-compassion, something you can work through with journaling.

Get started on your journaling practice by downloading the DiveThru app (which is free!). We promise hitting the Download button is the hardest part. You’ll find 1000+ journaling exercises to choose from, including one on quieting your internal critic. And if you’re looking for a quick gratitude hit instead, we’ve got you covered with both quick dives and deep dives!

8. Keep In Mind You Will Never Run Out Of Things To Compare

Even if you succeed in changing this one thing about yourself that you think you need to, there will always be something to take its place. 

Speaking from experience, it’s a constant battle of “improvement.” There’s always an extra 10 lbs you could shed. There’s always a new skin care routine with more expensive products that would give you that extra “glow.” And even if you achieve those two, there will likely be something else to take their spot: a newer car, a newer iPhone, you name it.

While dedication and drive can help you grow, comparing yourself to others along the way can hurt that progress. And it’s never ending so let’s nip the need to compare in the butt. The bud? We’ll go with butt because that’s saucier. 

9. Use Your Past Self As A Benchmark To Compare

If you absolutely HAVE to compare, use your past self as a benchmark. This way, the only person you’ll be competing against is yourself and it’ll give you an idea of how much you’ve grown.

Thinking back to where we were 5 years ago, DiveThru wasn’t even born yet! And now we have a huge community of wicked awesome people who care about their mental wellbeing! Talk about growth! This is a comparison we can get behind.

10. Remember How Unique You Are

You hear this all the time but only because it’s so true. And your mothers will agree with us when we say you’re all special and unique and individually beautiful. 

Not a single other soul is exactly like you. 

This is perhaps our best tip in ending comparison to others because how can you argue with it? It doesn’t make sense to compare apples to oranges to doughnuts. We’re all different and we move at different paces, with different purposes.

And if you’re wondering, yes we’re the doughnuts. Cause we’re sweet AF.

 

5 Journaling Prompts To Overcome Your Fear Of Commitment

When we say “fear of commitment” (or commitment issues if you will) you probably automatically envision someone who is afraid of being in a long-term relationship. 

You’re partially right. Fear of commitment is very common in romantic relationships, but it can be present in many other areas of life, too. Friendships, careers, and projects that require dedication to a specific person/cause can all lead to fear of commitment. Commitment issues can pop up for a variety of reasons including past trauma, difficulty trusting others, and societal expectations. 

Ahh society, back at it again with the damaging expectations. Gotta love it. 

Regardless of your situation, if you’re looking to get past your fear of commitment, here are 5 journaling prompts to get you started. These will help you dig deep and will provide the reflection you need to commit to getting past your fear of commitment. 

1. What is the root cause of your fear?

Oh yeah, we’re jumping right in folks. No surface level stuff around here.  

In order to truly address your fear of commitment, you first have to know what’s causing it. Are you scared to commit because you’re afraid of rejection? Is it because you have low self-esteem and/or low self-confidence? Were you in an unhealthy relationship that makes it difficult to trust people? All of these reasons are completely normal and valid but will need to be addressed before you can move forward. As always, be honest with yourself, be kind to yourself, and let go of any judgement towards yourself. 

2. How has commitment shaped your life?

So much of who we are is made up of what we have experienced in our lives. Take this opportunity to examine the role of commitment in your past and the role it continues to play in your life.

How have others demonstrated their commitment to you? How have they neglected their commitment to you? Were you surrounded by positive examples of commitment growing up? How might your life experiences be leading to your fear of commitment? 

These prompts will allow you to examine your view of commitment by looking into the past and will provide a starting point for how you want to proceed. 

3. Have you communicated your fear of commitment?

If you have, how did it impact your relationships and your life? If you haven’t, why not?

It may be scary to open up about your fear of commitment, but if you don’t address it, the people in your life may never know that it’s bothering you. Communication is especially important in romantic relationships because if you’re not open about what you’re going through, you may end up inadvertently hurting your partner. 

Communicating your fear of commitment can also mean talking to a therapist or mental health professional. They will be able to provide you with a safe space to open up and strategies to start overcoming your fear. 

4. What are the pros and cons of making a commitment?

This could be any type of commitment: a work commitment, a friendship, or a romantic relationship. If you’re nervous about making a commitment, write out a list of pros and cons that are specific to that situation. Then take a step back and examine each side. What can you do to address the cons or maybe even turn them into pros? Psst.. keep reading to find out. 

Organizing and sorting through your thoughts on paper is extremely helpful for decision making. There are no cons about a pros and cons list, that’s for sure. 

5. What are your next steps?

When tackling any sort of challenge, it’s always a good idea to have a game plan. You may have the best intentions, but without a solid plan, it’s really difficult to actually make any progress. Planning parties is fun, so why can’t planning out your goals be fun, too? 

Consider these questions: How will you push yourself outside your comfort zone? What can you do when you feel yourself pulling away from a relationship? Who can you lean on when things become difficult? How will you address setbacks?

Answering questions like these will help you see that, although it may be nerve wracking, change is possible and attainable. Set SMART goals that are realistic and tangible. Reward yourself when you complete them and forgive yourself when you don’t. 

Like any fear, fear of commitment is scary. But the only way to get past it is to acknowledge it and work through it. Your journal is a great starting place to address your feelings and to take note of what you can do to improve. But that’s just one of the many uses of your journal. 

To find even more uses, download our DiveThru app today! We’ve got over 1000 free journaling exercises to improve mental wellbeing. Now you have at least 1001 uses for your journal.

By taking the initiative to address your fear of commitment, you’ve already conquered one of the hardest steps. The process will be difficult and will likely take time, but don’t be discouraged. The growth you’ll experience in letting go of your fear will be well worth it in the end. You got this.

How To Set Goals With Journaling In 6 Steps

Do you know what your purpose is? Are you well on your way to being the version of yourself that you want to be? Do you feel fulfilled with the place you are at right now in this moment? It’s ok to not have answers to those questions. At least for now anyways, until we teach you how to set goals with journaling and make you a goal-setting expert! Come along, we have some stuff to dive thru…

Most of us have come across the principles behind SMART goals but if you haven’t, let us enlighten you. The acronym stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Some people have also expanded on the acronym to make it SMARTER, adding Evaluated and Reviewed. SMART goals are helpful because they are clear, realistic, and tailored specifically to you, which means you’re more likely to achieve them. 

We’re gonna make your SMART goals even SMARTER-er! We’re going to teach you how to set goals with journaling and actually make them happen. 

Ready? Leggo!

1. Use Freewriting To Identify Your Goals

Your feelings, values, and beliefs are at the heart of everything you do. If you don’t take time to explore them, you won’t know what’s important to you and, therefore, won’t know what goals to set.

If someone came up to you and asked you what your short-term, long-term, health, career, relationship, and personal goals were, would you have an answer on the spot?

The truth is, there are things you might not even know you’re feeling until you take the time to think about them and write them down. Freewriting is a stream-of-consciousness type of writing where you just write whatever comes to your mind until you run out of words. No interruptions or erasing or grammar checks welcome. 

This style of writing is beneficial for goal setting because the unfiltered expression allows you to pinpoint exactly what your goals are, as well as the reasoning behind each of them. 

2. Journal Through Your Goals To Make Them Stick 

When you have a goal in your mind, it’s just an idea. But as soon as you put pen to paper and write it down, suddenly it becomes a real, tangible thing. It becomes doable. Writing down your goals makes them seem more attainable, which is a synonym for achievable, which is one of the characteristics of a SMART goal. How convenient?

According to Forbes, “the act of writing stimulates the reticular activating system (RAS) in the brain. The RAS is like a filter and it sorts the things that are written down as being important.”

So, one could say that writing down your goals is a SMART thing to do. 

3. Write Your Goals Down Now, Then Expand And Modify Them Later

You aren’t the same person you were 5 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 months ago, or even one month ago. 

You change, your life changes, and guess what? Your goals are allowed to change, too. Writing your goals down allows you to modify and change them as needed, without losing all of your prior progress. Everything will still be there, allowing you to keep track of where you’ve been and where you’re going. 

Goals might not come to you in an instant, either. Some may need a little bit more thought and refinement. It’s hard to brainstorm in your brain without it becoming a storm of ideas. Before you know it, you’ve lost all the good ideas you thought you had and you’re back to square 1.

Plus, there’s only so much you can keep in your head before you start forgetting. Journaling allows you to expand on your goals so that your thoughts will be kept and not forgotten in favour of your family’s Subway order. 

4. Use Journaling To Help You Sort Out Your Priorities

When you keep your goals in your head, it’s easy to let them come and go. Goals can quickly become the least of your worries when you’re trying to deal with everything else going on up there: 15 (definitely different) versions of the same password, impossible microbiology terms, your daughter’s dance schedule, the works.

Seeing everything written down and lined up can help you organize your goals and decide what’s most important instead of trying to keep track of everything at once. After you write them down, use categories or give each one a ranking number to prioritize your goals.

5. As You Write, Allow Yourself To Be Honest

It can be intimidating to write and share your goals in front of an audience, so if that’s not for you, we definitely get it. Luckily, when you practice goal setting in a journal, it’s for your eyes only. 

Make it a judgement-free, safe space where you can share whatever your heart desires and be completely, 100% honest about your goals. When you’re honest with yourself, you’ll end up setting more realistic goals anyway, instead of trying to be and achieve something unattainable. 

6. Kick Start The Process With A Deep Dive

If you’re looking to zone in on one of the goals you’ve identified, we suggest using our DiveThru app. DiveThru has over 1000 structured journaling exercises, allowing you to dig deep and explore topics that interest you. 

If your goal is career related, DiveThru has an entire section of exercises to help you in that department: prepping for a job interview, starting a new job, or making a career change. Actual actionable prompts, pals.

If your goal is to develop a gratitude practice, we’ve got your back with both quick dives (gratitude hit) and deep dives (6 day gratitude challenge). Download the app for free to start crushing your goals today.

By getting into the habit of writing down your goals, you’ll ensure you’re getting the most out of them. Before you know it, you’ll have the SMART-est goals around.

7 Ways To Live Your Best Single Life

We’re gonna put happy and alone in the same sentence, because guess what? Your happiness and fulfillment do not depend on having a partner. Read that again, friends. Let it really sink in because we’re about to dive thru the billion things to do when you’re single that’ll help you live your best single life.

But first…

Alone does not mean lonely – although that is something society is trapping you into thinking is correlated (AHEM, those darn rom coms).

Don’t get us wrong, we love romantic comedies. The Notebook will forever draw tears. Don’t even get us started on 10 Things I Hate About You. (Heath Ledger, we will forever adore you).

We LOVE love. But the notion of “completing” one another is toxic. We are whole humans. Period. We have emotions and feelings and needs and desires. Who we choose to share those with is just that – a choice. A way to cherish another human.

Anyways, we know being single is hard. We know you sometimes feel like you’re missing out. And we wish we could say we had a list of “How To Be Single & Love It In 7 Easy Steps”, but in all honesty, they’re never as easy as we hope they’ll be. 

So how about this instead: “7 Potentially-Challenging-But-Fulfilling-And-Worth-It Things To Do When You’re Single?” 

Ok ok, now that’s something we can get behind. 

If you just recently went through a breakup, these steps might be extra hard (yay). Whatever place you’re starting from, just know that it’s okay. 

1. Feel Your Feelings

You just got home from your Bumble date and you’re still smiling from ear to ear. How the HECK can someone be so handsome and so nice?? This literally couldn’t have gone better. 

He was genuinely interested in what you were saying all night. He opened every single door for you AND he laughed at your jokes.

Your heart is now pounding and you’re realizing that holy shit you could see yourself getting attached to this guy. 

As the week goes on, you guys keep texting. He does seem to be really busy and only answers occasionally. But you’re obviously not gonna be ‘the crazy one’ and read too much into it.

The weekend is coming up so you guys plan another date for Friday night! Absolutely stoked for it, you take 3 hours to get ready (and in a small panic, shave everything just in case).

Then you get the text, an hour before you’re supposed to meet. 

I’m so sorry, caught up with work. Can we reschedule?

Well fuck. Yeah sure thing, not a problem. No worries, all good. Of course, I totally understand. Which lie do you respond with?

Our single friends all know this dilemma. It sucks. Really fucking sucks because you spent time and effort getting ready. 

Here’s where we come in.

It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be irritated. Or relieved! Or really truly happy. It’s also ok to change your mind about those feelings. Angry is fine too. And comfortable is just as ok!!

There are ups and downs to dating and the best thing you can do is roll with those feelings. Disappointed? Call your best friend and rant for a minute. Sad? Have a quick ugly cry.

Avoiding those feelings so that you can come across as “chill” and “strong” will not do you any favours. The only way to get past these feelings is to go through them. 

2. Take Care Of Yourself

So what happens now that your date is cancelled and you’re looking like a total smokeshow on a Friday night??

You take care of yourself. Once you’ve checked in with your feelings, it’s time to decide how you’ll dedicate this perfect night to yourself.

If you don’t want that $68 foundation to go to waste, take yourself on a date! We know it’s scary going to a restaurant and sitting down by yourself but why not have a seat at the bar? The bartender will break the ice and take the pressure off so that you don’t feel awkward. Brownie points to them if they introduce you to some people. 

If that’s not what you need, then take that makeup off and run a nice hot bath. Grab a book, grab a bottle of wine, grab some candles. How delightful does that sound?

And you don’t have to wait for a cancelled date to take care of yourself either. You gorgeous, amazing soul, you. 

Try your best to keep self-care in your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive; the best self-care practices are often free. Taking care of yourself – your whole self – is an important part of being fulfilled (whether you’re single or not).

3. Begin A Journaling Practice

Journaling really is the gift that keeps on giving. According to a study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, journaling about your romantic life can actually speed up an emotional recovery process. Ok, we’re listening… 

Sometimes there is so much going on in your head that it’s hard to pin down exactly what you’re feeling, and why you’re feeling that way. A journal is a safe space for you to unload your thoughts and sort through everything you’re feeling.  

It won’t judge you if you’re writing about your baddie sex adventures. It won’t judge you if your eyes are swollen shut from crying. And you bet it won’t turn away when you over analyze the moment you got ghosted. It’s the perfect listening ear. 

If you’ve never journalled before, now is as good a time as any to start. All you need is a pen and a piece of paper. Write as much or as little as you want about whatever you’re feeling in that moment. If you need a little journaling inspiration to get started, check out our DiveThru app, which features over 1000 free journaling exercises.

If this sounds like the best thing you’ve heard all week, go ahead and download the DiveThru app for free right now. 

4. Appreciate The Present

Your mindset can make all the difference in the world. Life Coach Shula Melamed suggests “thinking of being single as an opportunity, not a punishment.” We totally agree. This is an opportunity to learn, grow, build confidence, and find yourself. Run wild. Focus on the present moments as they find you and make the best of them. 

In addition to taking time for yourself, Melamed adds that this can be a great time to focus on your career and your friends. Always, always, always look for the silver lining and find gratitude in the treasures you have.

5. Be Selfish & Find Your Own Interests

We mean this in the best possible way.

Take this example. Your partner never liked going to the movie theatre. They said it was too busy, too expensive, and too much of a hassle. So you always streamed the movies at home on your shabby (minus the chic) couch. On the other hand, you love the theatre. You love nothing more than the smell of fresh buttery popcorn and the anticipation of the big screen. 

Well guess what? You’re about to rack up some serious Scene points because now you can go to as many movies as you want. And there won’t be a single complaint. Music to your ears. 

We tend to compromise parts of ourselves in relationships, but now is the time for you to finally do what you want to do. Focus on things that make you happy and things you may have neglected in the past. In this context, being selfish is ok. 13/10 recommended by experts.

6. Do Things Alone

It can be scary to venture out alone when you’re so used to having someone by your side. Whether you’re getting groceries, going to a Christmas party, or walking to class, it just feels weird not having them there. Like something is off. Like you’re missing something. 

Au contraire mon ami, everything you need is inside of you. Cheesy, but true. 

Little by little, try to step out of your comfort zone and do things on your own. You’ll rediscover the power and freedom that comes from not relying on anyone but yourself. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and you don’t have to take anyone else’s wishes into consideration. Except obviously, your friends’ and family’s, but you get the point we’re trying to make. Just imagine the freedom!!

7. Date, Or Don’t! Whatever Is Right For You

If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it will feel weird and uncomfortable and different being alone. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. There’s such a negative connotation around being single but it’s definitely not warranted. Being single is liberating, reassuring, and, frankly, really fun.

Instead of going on dates with a new partner, we recommend (once again) going on dates with yourself. Treat yourself to a fancy dessert, go to a concert solo, or book a weekend getaway to the beach. You deserve to be loved by yourself above all others. 

We weren’t lying when we said these steps would be worth it in the end. 

So next time you feel like you’re missing out on stuff because you’re single, invest in yourself. By taking time to do that, you’ll realize that you are (and have always been) resilient, loving, and all around phenomenal. These steps will help you see the silver lining in the word ‘single’ and will remind you how great it is to be in the company of yourself.

4 Ways To Try Silencing Your Inner Critic

She’s always there in the back of your mind — like those kids in middle school saying “Don’t mess up!” every time you’re about to get up to bat. Not cool. Silencing your inner critic is not usually this impossible…but now it’s starting to get a little out of hand. She’s weaselled her way into evvveeryyy situation, and no matter what you do, you can’t stop overthinking. Won’t she just be quiet already?? 

Ok. That’s it. Your inner critic needs to take a hike. For GOOD.

Journaling is one of the best ways to silence your inner critic. To help you get started, we’ve put together an easy process that will allow you to take control of your thoughts and wave goodbye to your internal critic once and for all.  

Let’s DiveThru!

1. Express Yourself

Grab your pen and (lots of) paper and get ready to write. Step one is to express what you’re feeling by freewriting. There are no rules or restrictions. Write whatever comes to your mind; don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or even coherence. 

Just write whatever you’re feeling in the current moment until you run out of words. Our in-house mental health professional Natalie Asayag confirms that writing about intrusive thoughts helps “unload” them from your mind. 

2. Imagine The Future Self You Want To Be

This next step is important in separating where you are and where you want to be. 

Where you are might be a place filled with flying thoughts and harsh criticism. 

Where you want to be might be calm, confident, and in control. 

Once you take the time and energy to acknowledge that these are two separate places, it’ll be easier to make the switch. Use this prompt from CreateWriteNow to get started:

“Right now, I am ________. I want to be ________.” 

This prompt is simple, yet powerful, and leaves room for you to elaborate as you wish.

 Sorry, got distracted. Back to work.

3. Separate And Categorize Your Thoughts

Your internal critic may be peppering you with thoughts, but are they even true? Separating involves taking the thoughts of your internal critic and splitting them into categories. We recommend starting simple with the categories “true/not true” and “realistic/not realistic”. 

These categories allow you to take a step back and really examine the nature of each thought. If you want to explore your thoughts even further, feel free to create new categories, too. By taking an objective approach, you’ll be able to organize your thoughts and realize that your internal critic really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. 

4. Reframe The Conversation

Last, but certainly not least, is reframing. Reframing allows you to take those negative, untrue, unrealistic thoughts and turn them into something positive and productive. Turning your thoughts into concrete, hand-written positive affirmations will take the last of the power away from your internal critic and give it back to you.

Now that you know the steps, let’s make you an expert with an actual example. 

Putting It All Together

Meet Alicia. She’s 28, she’s kind, and she’s brilliant. She recently graduated from postsecondary (YAY!) and landed her first job with a tech company (DOUBLE YAY!). Alicia took on her first project with ambition and her first presentation is only one day away.

But she can’t escape her inner critic, the harsh voice shouting she’s not good enough. Looking around her, she sees her peers’ achievements and wow. How the f**k is she gonna measure up to them tomorrow.

She pulls out her journal and writes about how she’s feeling in the current moment. Everything pours out — the presentation anxiety, how those thoughts are affecting her day, and how, honestly, she’s so f**king sick of feeling like crap. 

Her pen leaves dents in the paper.

She takes a deep breath and thinks about the prompt she’s supposed to use. 

Right now, I am anxious about my presentation because speaking in front of my co-workers intimidates me

I want to be calm so that I can trust myself and deliver the presentation to the best of my ability.

Another breath, and holy crap, her heart rate is actually slowing down. She moves on to the next step and categorizes the thoughts.

The image has a table of realistic versus not realistic intruding thoughts. Not realistic thoughts include "I don't know anything; I'm going to fail; If I make a mistake, my co-workers will judge me; I have to be perfect." Realistic thoughts include: "I'm nervous; I know my material; I have practiced; I've done this before; I don't have to be perfect."

Well sh*t, there’s no actual evidence she’s going to fail. Wasn’t there one more step? Oh yeah, reframing.

“I’ve given many successful presentations before.”

And with one more breath, her thoughts settle and her heart rests. Alicia knows she will do the best she possibly can.

Having this journaling process at the ready will do wonders. You can easily adapt it to whatever situation you’re going through.

And, if it works so well that you’re looking for more journaling exercises, look no further than our DiveThru app! We’ve got 1000+ free exercises that’ll keep you journaling all day long.

With these tools at your disposal, your internal critic won’t stand a chance. Sure, she might talk the talk, but she definitely won’t walk the walk anymore.