How to overcome self-criticism

It happens, you may come across the situation like this: You have plenty of tasks in the to-do list. Many things to be completed at work and at home. Planning to take up some activities to improve your fitness and career growth. You want to have some fun and relax. Trying to handle everything and stay in balance. But it looks like never-ending tasks. Suddenly you remind yourself about some other incident where you faced issues. Start to dig out the old decisions and questioning whether the choice was right. Again remember the present tasks in hand and feel overwhelmed and can’t understand what is wrong.

It is quite natural to be in such a situation, considering the complications of our modern-day life. But what we do at that time has bigger implications in our life. One may start blaming self, others may blame the situation or the people around them; self-criticism or self-victimization. Both are quite extremes, most of us may fall in-between these ends. However, we could identify our inclination and understand where we belong to. This blog has some tips for the people who are more inclined towards self-criticism and suffer from it.
While exploring this topic, I came across the quotes that totally reject and ask us to get rid of that habit and also the ones that advocate it.

Self-criticism, like self-administered brain surgery, is perhaps not a good idea. Can the ‘self’ see the ‘self’ with any objectivity?

Joyce Carol Oates

It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of high maturity, to rise to the level of self-criticism.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are different schools of thought on this topic. However, moderation is the key. A bit of criticism as part of introspection is always good. But when it starts hurting you and makes you feel bad about self, then it is a high time to stop and take care of yourself.

As Louise Hay says, You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.

Here are some steps to accept the situation and protect ourselves from overthinking self-critic.

  • Stop all criticism.
    Criticism will not help your situation. Accept yourself, observe the situation, take action as one at a time and enjoy the present. It could improve your thoughts and help you to move ahead.
  • Forgive yourself
    Let the past go. You did the best you could at the time with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge that you had.
  • Don’t scare yourself
    Stop scaring yourself with whatif kind of thoughts. Switch that thought to a pleasant one.
  • Be gentle and patient
    Be gentle with yourself. Have patience to learn new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really love.
  • Be kind to your mind
    Self-hatred is hating your own thoughts. Donʼt hate yourself for the not-so-good thoughts. Gently change your thoughts.
  • Praise
    Criticism breaks us down. Praise and tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.
  • Support
    Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and family members and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.

—Anitha KC

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