Self Criticism Is Just a Way To Trap Yourself
While some people may be self critical out loud to friends or family, it might seem like it’s just attention seeking or them fishing for a compliment. That might be partially true, but there’s a deep underlying reason for their lack of self confidence, and that is what should be addressed. Being self critical is all a state of mind, and can be altered even if you’ve never thought much of yourself up until the point you’re at right now. Some of us suffer from uneven skin, body parts that aren’t symmetrical, and others from issues that are inside and invisible, that we wouldn’t even notice by looking at them, but still makes them feel an inch tall. The real issue is that the person others see, is not the same person they see when they look into a mirror.
Being self critical is sabotaging the ability to move forward in positive ways because you have already closed every door to your future with negative thinking. If you don’t believe something can or will happen because you want it badly enough, it just won’t happen. This critical attitude can be felt by all those around you, and they respond to it as you expect with negativity, or by you not getting the promotion at work. Maybe you don’t go out as much as your friends, have a partner to spend your life with, or even have that many friends at all. Opportunities pass you by, and it only serves to fuel the self hatred and support your own theory that others feel just as critical of you as you do yourself. This can be changed, it just takes a bit of time and serious effort.
This YouTube post by Dr. David Purves covers how to stop being self-critical, and is worth the watch. At nearly 7 minutes, it will be the easiest thing you do all day under 10 minutes of your time, with insight unparalleled to anything you have lived so far. He feels that self criticism is so pervasive that it’s nearly an instinct, which we feel we have no control over. He goes on to say that due to our emotions being so strong, we lose our awareness of our ability to use our mind to make choices and move forward. We find ourselves with less choices, and feel helpless and distressed. People like to cast doubt over their ability to control how they feel or must react, but our psyche is ours alone, and we’re the only ones who can make real change within it.
Someone who is critical of themselves may be looked at as a pessimist or severely depressed. This may not be the case, but they are linked in regard to psychological reasoning, because the symptoms are the same. This article from GoodTherapy.org helps to explain self-criticism using case studies:
It takes learning to be more accepting of who you are, and recognizing that you have some extremely fine qualities also. Start by writing them down, and refer back to them when you find yourself being overly critical of your words or actions. Consider that if you hold people to higher standards than you hold yourself, there’s something very wrong there. Treat yourself the way you treat others close to you, and you’ll see yourself the way they do in time. You must kick negative thoughts and emotions out before they have time to grow roots in your mind and cast doubt and insecurity, and make yourself believe in a more positive outcome. If you find that you’re always critical about yourself, and have been so since childhood, going to a therapist might help quite a bit.
By focusing on your strengths and putting them into action in the world around you, at work, with your significant other, at home… you will slowly begin to believe in yourself and you’ll have the power to reverse it. It makes absolutely no difference what you look like, because people will treat you in accordance with how you carry yourself. Use good posture, keep your head and eyes looking to the distance when you walk instead of the ground under your feet, and believe in the best outcome even if it means telling yourself it will happen every day until it does. Though ridding yourself of critical behavior is difficult, it can be completely reversed and you will start having more reasons to find pride in yourself and what you have accomplished. For more tips on how to stop this destructive mindset view this article by Psychology Today.