It is not a wrong thing to want more from ourselves or to do periodic evaluations of how we stand at the moment. But there is a difference between checking your evolution and being a rough critic when it comes to your own person. You probably don’t enjoy when other people are calling you names or when your boss is constantly criticizing you. So, having these in mind, why do you do it to yourself? You may be tempted to think that self-criticism is constructive, but, to your surprise, it can have a detrimental effect on your development if it is done in a wrong manner. Again, there is a thin line between assessing your status and performances and the point when you start despising yourself.
- Why tackle with your inner critic?
What are the disadvantages of an ever-present inner critic? Well, instead of allowing us to focus on the things that should be improved, we may tend to focus on our failures more. This is not something constructive because it can be demoralizing and can induce high levels of stress, even depression. Talking trashy about your person is not the right way to make yourself evolve, as it will slowly destroy your will and intentions of making the positive changes you wanted. What to do in this case? You need to put your inner critic on mute and start appreciating yourself. Only by loving your person you will manage to see where you can do some improvements without hurting yourself or throwing your person into a whole with negative feelings and depression.
- The first step would be confronting your inner critic
You have to start the process by confronting the voice of the negative critic in your head, the one that should help you but it is far from being supportive or gentle. It may be hard to recognize it in the beginning, but, if you listen carefully and examine every thought you have, you will realize that there is something wrong about the way your thoughts are formulated. You probably are not enjoying words like “slob”, “incompetent”, “unable”, “incapable”, and so on, addressed towards your person. You should be quite revolting that your mind thinks so little of you, so deal with it and throw these negative thoughts in a small imaginary box that you put away in a dark corner of your mind. You need to be aware of these unwanted thoughts so you can handle them correctly. With the help of an imagination exercise, in which you put self-criticism away, will help you understand that you are not the way those negative words are describing yourself.
- Improve yourself through gentle observation
Still, it is a good thing to constantly observe yourself, because we do live in a competitive world and we do want to be better. But, do these observations in a very gentle manner, without thinking little about yourself. No one is perfect and it is normal to make mistakes now and then. When you do a mistake, the best way to handle it is to be aware of it and doing your best to repair it, and then just move on. There is no point in mentally basting yourself for all the mistakes you make. They are a lesson to be learned and as long as you do your best to repair them, you are doing the right thing and are very capable of handling anything that comes your way.
- Practice self-forgiveness every day
Do not forget to forgive yourself. It is the first step you can make towards self-love. Every night you go to bed, practice self-forgiveness, especially when it comes to mistakes. You should tell yourself that such things happen all the time and that it is only human to make mistakes. Also, do have in mind that there is always a solution to every mistake, so they are not permanent and they can be fixed. And do your best not to judge yourself all the time. No one was born with the knowledge about how things would evolve, so it is normal not to know how things will go and how you will react to them. We are human beings and as tend to let our feelings and emotions take control in certain situations, making us react perhaps inappropriately for those situations. So, it is not wrong to think about what you did wrong and how you could have reacted if you didn’t let those emotions take over you. But it is wrong to start judging yourself because of this. Make sure you show some compassion towards yourself, because for sure you tried to handle the moment in the best way you could. Only by learning from our every experience we can develop into better persons.
- Look for repeating patters and choose differently
When it comes to your inner critic, do try to recognize the particular patterns it has. Without close observation, it may be hard to notice these patterns as you have grown used to them. But, if you notice things that are constantly repeating when the inner critic activates inside your mind, you can choose to have a different reaction. You are not bound to do what the critic is telling you. For instance, if you have the urge to interrupt people when they talk, because you suddenly feel a wave of excitement to share your experiences with them, try to become a good listener instead. You won’t believe just how well this will serve you. You will end up knowing a different level of connection with the people you meet and have around you.
- Some flaws can turn into real life gifts
Do not forget that we all have flaws and that there is nothing wrong about it. In fact, there are flaws that can be turned into real gifts of life. For instance, the fear of not doing something right can help you pay more attention to details and invest a lot of work and effort when finishing a project. The result will always be above average. So, instead of feeling bad about your flaws, pick two of them on which you can work to make them your assets instead. Concerning the other flaws, which may be more insignificant, accept them as they are, a part of your complex and beautiful personality.