“I am stuck”. How to stop worrying and criticizing yourself

Whatever we think of as “wrong” behaviors and problems in ourselves is our survival strategy. Some events of the past forced her to choose. And since then they have prevented us from living freely and moving forward.

As a result, we enter into relationships with the wrong people, criticize our body and actions, suffer from anxiety and loss. Start Choosing Yourself is a guide to help you figure out exactly where you’re stuck.

Emmy Brunner , psycho- and hypnotherapist, has been working with psychological trauma and low self-esteem for 20 years. And she herself went through this experience. The book contains a practical 11-step program that will help you find a way out and build a new relationship with yourself.


The word trauma is the first obstacle to healing. Many of us find it hard to admit that past experiences have been traumatic. Trauma is something serious: death, illness, war. Or not?

Think about whether you have encountered such situations: painful worries about appearance; anxiety or depression; merciless self-criticism; the feeling that you are walking in circles. If any of the above sounds familiar to you, chances are that something traumatic happened in your life and you are now looking at the world through the prism of that trauma.

Pain is found everywhere. By not recognizing it, we deny ourselves and block the way to a better future.


If you often feel fear and anxiety, it means that at some point you learned the belief that you must always be on your guard, otherwise something bad will happen. Fear is our protector. But when his vote becomes decisive, this is no longer useful.

Bad things do happen. But fear-based thinking does not protect against them. When you feel that fear is clouding your thoughts, try to say out loud what exactly you are afraid of. Fear is stronger when it hides in silence. You can also keep a notebook in your bag and write down disturbing thoughts or just draw squiggles.

Letting go of fear does not guarantee a future in which nothing bad happens. This means believing that good things will not bypass us on the path of life.

unhealthy voice

Everyone has an evil voice in their head. He pretends to warn us against problems. In fact, he creates them. For example, you are anxious before meeting new people. The voice in my head says, “Don’t go, you’ll feel bad.” You stay at home – and only more convinced that you should not communicate with people. The cycle closes.

You need to find another voice in yourself – kind, sympathetic and able to support. Focus on what you want, not what you are avoiding. Many will say that they are already constantly focused on dreams of an ideal body, life or career. But these dreams are born from a negative thought: “What I have now is not good enough.”

Try reframing the dream like this: “I am grateful for this and that and strive to improve these areas of my life.” This attitude gives a completely different feeling.


When we think of controlling people, the image of a tough and domineering person who does not let others take a step comes to mind. In fact, the desire for control is expressed in other things.

When we make the choice to let go of a situation, we get a chance to see what is pushing us to make certain decisions. Instead of focusing on what others think or want, we listen to ourselves and satisfy our own needs.

In what three areas of your life do you have the most control? Then write down three statements about how you will let it go. And do it.

What else

Self-doubt, shame, and fear prevent us from realizing the unique characteristics that each of us has. It is impossible to get rid of negative feelings at once . But we can make a number of small changes that will lead to big shifts. This is progress.

The book provides an 11-step system to help launch these changes.

Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Coping Strategies: Healthy and Unhealthy Ways to Cope with Stress
  • Learning to just be, play, and experience joy is an important part of the journey.
  • How to accept myself if I have so many flaws
  • We all need a “flush”: cleaning up the social media feed
  • Diary-project: we form a new reality

Life is not about surviving and dealing with your own “flaws”. It can be dedicated to loving and taking care of yourself day in and day out. And you deserve it, just because you are.

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