Self-criticism can be detrimental to your mind and your goals. Overly criticizing yourself can cause you to hinder your progress, making your goals further away. It’s crucial to stop self-criticism so you can experience full happiness.

While criticizing yourself is inevitable at times, you have to be able to stop it before it becomes a problem. This negative way of thinking or speaking about yourself will do more harm than good.

On the other hand, stopping those thoughts and thinking positively or taking action will help you reach your goals. You can’t let negative criticism of yourself hold you back, and you can’t make it interfere with your happiness.

Quotes to Stop Self-Criticism and be Happy Again


1. “You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise Hay

Think back on all the times you have criticized yourself and consider whether it has worked or not. More often than not, you’ll realize that it didn’t work. Next time you find yourself wallowing in criticism of yourself, approve of yourself, instead, and see the difference.

 2. “Ours is the one ever-present voice in our lives. Therefore, it is crucial that our self-talk instill confidence within us and is supportive, not submerging, and that our attitudes toward ourselves help keep our spirits afloat through acceptance and trust. We are our own most important and influential buoy.” – Sue Thoele

Since your mind is the only one you hear at all times, make it a positive one. Support yourself and praise your attempts. When you do this, you’ll find yourself achieving more and feeling happier.

This mindset will also help you ignore the negative voices of others. When the sound you hear the most often is positive, the negative ones won’t affect you as much.

3. “We all have the tendency to believe self-doubt and self-criticism, but listening to this voice never gets us closer to our goals. Instead, try on the point of view of a mentor or good friend who believes in you, wants the best for you, and will encourage you when you feel discouraged.” – Kelly McGonigal

Criticizing yourself doesn’t get you anywhere closer to where you want to be. Think of how you would want your best friend to speak to you in awkward moments. Then, talk to yourself that way.

4. “Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take its place. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on instead of obsessing about it. Equally important, don’t allow anyone else to dwell on your mistakes or shortcomings or to expect perfection from you.” – Beverly Enge

To stop overly criticizing yourself, you have to start thinking positively about yourself. Give yourself some grace and grow from your mistakes. Expect the same of those around you, because mistakes do happen and no one will ever be perfect.

When you create these boundaries for yourself and those around you, positive thoughts will be more natural. Make an effort to change your thoughts or the way you are speaking when it becomes harmful.

5. “One should never criticize his own work except in a fresh and hopeful mood. The self-criticism of a tired mind is suicide.” – Charles Horton Cooley

When you’re in a bad mood or have been working hard for a long time, it’s important to take a break. Only when you’re feeling good should you criticize something you’ve worked on. A positive mindset will allow you to evaluate positively.

When you remember to do this, you’ll find yourself being more positive. Everyone has to make changes in life, and negatively criticizing yourself won’t make it any better.


6. “Start listening to what you say. Are your comments and ideas negative? You aren’t going to become positive if you always say negative things. Do you hear yourself say, “I could never do that,” “I never have any luck,” “I never get things right”? Wow – that’s negative self-talk! Try saying, “I am going to do that,” “I am so lucky,” “I always try to get things right.” Can you hear how much better that sounds?” – James Arthur

Take notice of the things you are saying to yourself. Positivity will not come from negativity, so consciously change your negative thoughts. Encourage yourself and remind yourself that you can do anything.

Take the advice of Arthur and change the things you are saying to yourself. The negative thoughts and comments will only hold you back and interfere with your happiness.

7. “As there must be moderation in other things, so there must be moderation in self-criticism. Perpetual contemplation of our own actions produces a morbid consciousness, quite unlike that normal consciousness accompanying right actions spontaneously done, and from a state of unstable equilibrium long maintained by effort, there is apt to be a fall towards a stable equilibrium, in which the primitive nature reasserts itself. Retrogression rather than progression may hence result.” – Herbert Spencer

In short, taking care of yourself is more than just moderating physical things, it’s also moderating your negative thoughts. Overthinking things and criticizing yourself can cause you to get further away from your goals. Positive thinking, on the other hand, results in making progress.

8. “Let ‘action’ replace your negative self-chatter and self-doubt. What is the first action step to move you forward?” – Jackie Cantoni

There is nothing to quiet your thoughts like doing something. So, when you find yourself self-criticizing, get up, and do something productive instead. If you don’t know what to do, think of your ultimate goal and take the first step.

9. “Self-criticism, like self-administered brain surgery, is perhaps not a good idea. Can the ‘self’ see the ‘self’ with any objectivity?” – Joyce Carol Oates

You can’t diagnose or cure yourself, so you shouldn’t criticize yourself, either. You can’t see yourself objectively, so you’ll never be able to make a full conclusion about yourself.

10. “Our reaction to self-criticism is more important than the self-criticism itself. Paying attention to our reactions is very important because the only thing we have control over is how we react.” – Yong Kang Chan

No matter how much you practice positive thinking, criticizing yourself still happens. When it does, you have to react positively. This is where taking the first step toward your goal comes in handy.

11. “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” – Gautama Buddha

No matter how bad something seems, there is some good in the situation. No matter how seemingly insignificant the blessing is, take note of it, and you’ll become happier. When you do this instead of criticizing yourself, you’ll feel better.

12. “If babies held the same tendency toward self-criticism as adults, they might never learn to walk or talk. Can you imagine infants stomping, ‘Aargh! Screwed up again!’ Fortunately, babies are free of self-criticism. They just keep practicing.” – Dan Millman

You can do anything you set your mind to if you allow yourself to fail a few times first. No one does anything perfectly the first time, so keep trying until you get it. The practice is the only way to be better while criticizing yourself could lead to never learning.


13. “If we judge ourselves only by our aspirations and everyone else only by their conduct, we shall soon reach a very false conclusion.” – Calvin Coolidge

Don’t judge yourself by the dreams you haven’t reached yet, but everyone else by how they are handling life now. Judge yourself in the same way you think of others because they aren’t perfect either. Everyone is working on something, and judging in this way doesn’t help or make you feel better.

14. “Bring acceptance and compassionate self-talk. Say nice things to yourself – you’re the only one listening. Tell yourself. I am doing the best I can.” – Gabrielle Bernstein

When you continually hear positivity, you’ll begin showing yourself more compassion. As Bernstein says, remind yourself that you are doing your best. Sometimes that’s all you need to hear to keep working toward something better.

15. “A final word on self-criticism: Do not beat up on yourself. Even if you think you know your flaws, there is no need to advertise them. Most people won’t have noticed.” – Philip Toshio Sudo

Don’t say negative things about yourself because everyone has flaws. Speaking or over-thinking about it doesn’t do any good. Plus, others likely wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out.

Final Thoughts on Quotes to Stop Self-Criticism and be Happy Again

Self-criticism is normal, and you’ll never fully be able to avoid it, but you can stop the severity. You can stop doing it so often, and you can learn when to take action instead. Instead of letting it ruin your happiness, learn to stop instead.

As these quotes explain, everyone experiences this type of criticism at times. Don’t let it hold you back from your goals. Learn to stop criticizing yourself and be happy again.