Are you very picky with yourself? 7 keys to managing self-criticism

If you think the biggest demands and the toughest evaluations are coming from you, this article can help you deal with self-criticism.

Many times it seems the worst enemy is within ourselves. Instead of encouraging ourselves on the path to our goals and learning from our mistakes, we waste time asking ourselves to achieve perfection and criticizing negatively. These habits harm our performance and the personal image we have of ourselves.

You may be interested in: “Perfectionist Personality: The Downsides of Perfectionism”

What is self-criticism and why is it harmful?

Self-criticism is usually a type of pathological criticism, that is, a negative evaluation that a person has or her actions and it doesn’t help her to be the best of herself. It is often called pathological criticism because it escapes the person’s control and ends up damaging their performance and self-esteem.

Self-criticism usually takes the form of negative comments, which focus on mistakes made or goals not achieved. And above all, it is a criticism that is not constructive because it does not guide us on how to use our strengths to improve our weaknesses.

The negative voice that reminds us of what we’re doing wrong

In other words, self-criticism is that negative voice that highlights our mistakes or our lack of perfection. He tells us what’s wrong, compares us to others, their successes and abilities, and sets impossible standards of perfection. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to deal with self-criticism in an objective and adaptive way.

Dealing with self-criticism is often a difficult task because it is we who carry these messages and we have given great power to our thoughts. Since it is our voice that gives us these criticisms, it is difficult to ignore it and move forward on the path to our goals.

So how can you deal with self-criticism?

I will tell you below some of the keys to managing and building on self-criticism, Avoid being too demanding of ourselves. Are you ready?

1. Learn to tame your inner voice

The first step in properly dealing with self-criticism is knowing it. You have to analyze what specific topics do your reviews relate to and what thoughts are associated with them. It is about identifying the messages you are giving yourself, in what situation, what you are feeling and what you are thinking. You can keep a paper trail so that you can later analyze the criticisms of you in detail and calmly, when you have a moment.

2. Discover the emotions that make your critical voice emerge

Once you have identified the form of your self-criticism and the emotions and thoughts associated with it; you must unmask the purpose of these critiques. What emotions are you trying to show? What fear motivates these criticisms? Knowing what lies behind self-criticism will make it easier for you to attack the source.

3. Motivation or concern?

Everything we do or think has a function, even if it is not obvious, there is always a reason in what we do and think. Human beings are animals who orient their behavior towards goals, so it is important that you identify the function of self-criticism. For example, you may use self-criticism to motivate yourself; for example, by demanding of yourself to perform more and better. What happens is that many times self-criticism and personal demands end up being the center of our attention and we lose sight of the goal we were pursuing.

4. Avoid perfectionism

We only care about doing it better and achieving perfection; it generates stress and anxiety levels which end up hurting our performance. As a result, we criticize and demand that we do better, and we end up hurting our performance with the demands. If in your case, you think that self-criticism is trying to motivate you, you can put in place strategies to motivate yourself in a positive way and thus reduce your level of demand.

We only care about doing it better and achieving perfection; it generates stress and anxiety levels which end up hurting our performance. As a result, we criticize and demand that we do better, and we end up hurting our performance with the demands. If in your case, you think that self-criticism is trying to motivate you, you can put in place strategies to motivate yourself in a positive way and thus reduce your level of demand.

5. Mind failure: a double-edged sword

On the other hand, self-criticism can give the false impression of preparing for possible failure. If we think we are not doing well and give ourselves this message, it would seem that if we fail, we are already expecting it. It is an illusion. If we fail, it will affect us even more, because self-criticism extends the time we receive negative messages and these end up validating with our experience.

6. Solution: relativize and question your thoughts

Be able to effectively manage self-criticism we must be able to move away from our thoughts and understand them as mental contents, And no, as absolute truths. Distancing yourself from thoughts is an ability that comes with practicing and modifying certain mental habits. You can practice stepping away from your thoughts and observing them as the content of your mind if you decide to ask yourself why you are thinking something and what evidence you have to be sure or doubt what you are thinking. It can also be helpful to watch your thoughts as messages your mind is giving you and let them go as you have them, without doing anything with them.

7. Solution: Are you reproducing the fears and insecurities of others?

Another way to deal with self-criticism is to analyze whether we have copied this pattern of behavior from the people we had or have in our environment. It is extremely important to take the reins of our mind. To do this, you may ask yourself: Did I copy this way of criticizing myself from someone? Is this the result of my personal will or have I learned that this is the best way to improve my performance? Do I really want to be like this?

Overcome your fears and chase your dreams

You need to be aware that whatever information you find about yourself, the fears that guide your inquiries, and your self-criticism must be used to act differently.

Removing yourself from your thoughts and appreciating the function of the criticisms you make of yourself should guide you in attacking the source of your fears. Dealing with self-criticism involves changing our habits, so we need time to practice a different way of dealing with ourselves. If you follow these steps, you will be closer to overcoming these insecurities and being able to successfully meet the challenges you offer.

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