Do you ever pay attention to your inner monologue? How do you treat yourself? What words do you call yourself? Do you have a habit of criticizing, insulting and condemning yourself?
How often are you unhappy with yourself?
Perhaps you would like to be a stronger, more courageous and confident self, you want to achieve more, to do things “properly” without any mistakes, but somehow you fail to meet the high standards you set for yourself.
Then when you fail, you tell yourself, “I failed again, I couldn’t handle what I set myself to do, I screwed up, I behaved like a fool, I’m nothing…”
The worst part is that these accusations become a common place you “hang out in.” This becomes a habit of constant criticism and dissatisfaction with yourself. It becomes a habit of attitude, a way of thinking.
At times, due to the high demands of your parents during your childhood, the insults you might have received from others when you’ve failed, you began to see yourself as someone who lacks something, that does not do things “properly,” according to what “proper” might be for others, that you make mistakes and produce nothing. And later subconsciously, you continue to keep yourself accountable to the “standards” of others, to the way others would like you to be.
Of course, you wish to change, you know that you need to change, you know that you want to become better, to provoke admiration and recognition to prove to the world and yourself that you can.
Thus, you begin to set yourself for reaching higher standards, you impose to yourself more rules, and if you don’t achieve your goal, you end up insulting, blaming and criticizing yourself. You treat yourself, as if you were a misbehaving child that should have been “punished.”
So what is beneath the surface of this constant criticism?
Does it help you to become better or on the contrary — does it increasingly entangles you in the “standard” you’ve set yourself up to based on others’ opinions and insults?
The truth is that this critical self-reflection and attitude has introduced you to a war — a crazy race within your own self.
This self-criticism has become a pattern of thoughts and behaviors that reinforces in you the feeling that you can’t do anything and this feeling makes your subconscious always trying to find a way to prove yourself.
Self-criticism and high demand on yourself always keeps you under constant tension. You don’t even realize that often because of this eternal stalking and you constantly seeking errors blocks what you want to achieve.
Why do you treat yourself this way? Why do you expect so much from yourself based on others’ voices that you’ve heard?
At the heart of self-condemnation stands fear of failure, of making a mistake, of rejection. As a child you were taught, perhaps, that if you are doing well, you will be “accepted,” others will like you and love you, and if not, you will be rejected.
Often times, self-criticism is associated with guilt, with insecurities and low self-esteem. And often people with great achievements are eternally dissatisfied with themselves and subject themselves to constant criticism. In these cases, these people are perfectionists whose quest for perfection does not allow them to enjoy their success.
Their habit of constantly reproaching is one of the biggest barriers that hinders their development and prevents them from being happy.
I’ve seen people who have all the qualities to succeed, yet their complaints and dissatisfaction toward themselves, their high demands for themselves and conditions that they set for themselves that they feel the need to adopt and approve, keeps them at the same level.
Do you wish there is a way to being what you truly want to be, to end the “perfectionism” that you keep racing yourself against, to be happy with yourself, to feel satisfaction and to feel comfortable in your own skin?
Yes, you can achieve greatness and acceptance of yourself. And not in the usual way of increasing “control” of your actions, or to keep punishing yourself and placing high demands and ultimatums to yourself. In fact, it is necessary to do just the opposite.
Stop criticizing yourself. Could you do that for yourself?
Realizing that insulting yourself and constantly disapproving of what you’ve achieved, you only keep bringing back the image of a loser to yourself.
When you call yourself “incompetent,” “stupid,” “idiot,” etc., your subconscious mind absorbs these words, accepts them as true and causes situations in which you fail or expose yourself to where you will eventually fail again. Because the role of the subconscious mind is to maintain the image that you have created for yourself.
If you constantly criticize yourself, you will continue to attract the criticism of others towards yourself. Your uncertainty and disapproval emanates from you and it is felt by others. The more you have a bad attitude about yourself, the worse you keep feeling about yourself and the more concerning the criticism becomes.
The good news is that self-criticism is not part of the human nature. It is a habit that can be changed.
Do you ever ask yourself why you are constantly criticizing what you do?
What are you afraid of? Who do you want to please? On whose terms do you live? Whose requirements do you follow in life? Whose questions do you need to answer?
Do you fear being rejected, which causes you to strive to be perfect in the eyes of others?
Perhaps it’s time to understand that when you fully accept yourself, the way you are, who you are, others will fully accept you as well.
Perhaps, it’s time to stop trying to be what others want you to be and expect you to be.
You’re unique. Just the way you are. And there’s no one like you.
Were your parents too demanding when you were growing up? Does following their model make you strive towards perfectionism? Realize that you’re older now, that you can perceive new things in life, a more productive attitude towards yourself, and allowing yourself to be happy.
It’s time you accept yourself with all of your imperfections.
Accept yourself fully. The way you are. Take not only the good qualities in yourself, but all of your flaws, mistakes, and weaknesses because they have made you unique and they take you to a new level and “standard” in life.
Love yourself in all moments of life — when you’re afraid, you have failed, when you behaved foolishly, and when you caused disturbance.
In fact, these are the moments when you need the most support. And if you don’t support yourself, how do you expect others to support you?
In situations like this, the little child within you feels ashamed, humiliated, rejected. And this child needs the adult you are now — to calm you down, to pat you on the back and to tell you that everything is fine and that everything will be okay.
And instead of you helping the inner child, you tell yourself that you’ve made mistakes again and keep making them over and over, confusing everything.
When talking about acceptance of shortcomings, people usually ask, “If I accept my imperfection and I love myself despite the failures, and forgive myself, then how will I change?, Wouldn’t this be a failure of my aspirations to development?”
Realistically, to change yourself, first you must fully accept what and who you are.
First, because, if somehow, you achieve to reach good results, but you have the same critical attitude towards yourself, you will never be happy, you will always find flaws and omissions and you will never feel satisfied. Because this ends up being the model that you unconsciously follow.
Secondly, because when you accept and approve of yourself, just the way you are, you subtract the best of yourself.
Give yourself praises. You deserve them.
Keep track of your inner monologue and your relationship with it. Let it consist of more praise than criticism.
Perhaps you think you have nothing to brag to yourself about?
I trust that this is not true. You just have to open your mind to all of the achievements you’ve accomplished and all of the small victories along the way. Any progress, any step forward, any attempt to a new beginning, deserves a praise.
It’s time you stop comparing yourself to others.
Don’t strive to be like others. Don’t strive to catch up to them. To be like them. To prove of them. You are unique and have your own strengths. You have characteristics that are better than their and you have your own way of development.
Thus, asking yourself, “why am I so slow and stupid, so and so managed to do so many thing today, I’m incompetent…” are completely unnecessary. It is possible that this person is better in certain areas than you are, and in other areas, you’re better than him or her.
Most likely you have achieved success in one area or another. And instead of insulting and humiliating yourself, praise yourself, so you can keep moving forward.
You don’t need to prove yourself to others. Work on yourself, so you can prove and accept yourself. If you love and accept yourself fully, you will not feel the need to prove and search for the approval of others.
It’s time that you allow yourself to be wrong.
To be able to stop beating yourself up and to remove the tension of being wrong again, you need to relax and accept that is human to make mistakes, you will not become less worthy if you screwed up.
Amazingly enough, it is when you free yourself from fear to make a mistake, when you weaken to control situations and stop self-criticism, is when you’ll end up making fewer mistakes.
Turn the affirmations below into your beliefs:
Learn to hear your thoughts. Learn to recognize the negative voice in your mind. Challenge it. Choose more positive thoughts. You deserve love. You deserve compassion. You owe it to yourself.
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About The Author
Dr. Mila is an internationally known Business and Life Strategist, Decoder of Human Potential, and Change Catalyst. Her mission is simple: 1 million people around the world to Master The Blank Page™ and intentionally live a life of significance. I million people to create the greatest stories ever told, see the future in front of them, fill the pages ahead with matters of their heart, acts of kindness, and incredible stories of inspiration, and hope.
Originally published at medium.com