Criticizing yourself, beating yourself up, feeling sorry for yourself and disappointing yourself is not the best way to motive change. Feedback is critical for a person’s success, but negative feedback is demoralizing and defeating.
We all need to have validation in our life. Validation is critical to our development as human beings. Criticism is a form of invalidation. Self-criticism is devastating. Self-criticism hurts us mentally, spiritually and physically.
Let us get started on a few tips and techniques on how to move from negative feedback to positive feedback. Yes, with others and yourself.
The problem with comparing is we do not know the entire story. We all want to look good to others. We present a good picture to others, but we know our true selves. We have faults, We are the person who was not honest, who had an episode of binge eating, who did something rude. The challenge is we do not see behind other people’s masks. We only see the external “looking good” side of others. We should not compare our internal view to their external view.
Define Your Own Identity
We love statements like “I am angry” or “I am stupid”. The problem is these statements declare an identity. Am I angry or did I have an angry episode? Am I stupid or did I perform a stupid act? While this seems trivial, this is a major step in stopping self criticism. Would you rather hear; “She is fat” or “She has a weight problem.” The first sentence creates an identity. It declares you are something. The second sentence indicates you have something. I can not change my identity. I can change ownership of something I have.
Enabler or Disabler
Does your criticism enable or hinder you from becoming a better person? Life is about learning and becoming a better person. If criticism is hindering you on life’s journey, then you need to reassess the criticism. There might be a behavior or attitude that needs adjusting. Feedback that helps you change for the better enables you. Feedback that hinders progress is bad.
Laugh at Your Self Criticism
What is amazing about our self criticism is it is panicky, repetitive, persistent and afraid of the light of day. One way to work through self criticism is to discuss it with another person. When I look at how I have criticized my self, I begin to laugh at myself. Did I really believe this? What was I thinking?
The only limitations you have are the ones you have set. Removing self criticism is a good start in removing limitations.