You must have often seen people around you who keep thinking negatively about themselves. If any of their hopes are not fulfilled by themselves, they believe that their hopes will never be fulfilled in the future. If they fail once, they think they will always remain a failure. If they have never fulfilled their dreams before, they feel that their dreams will never come true. People with this type of thinking are always worried about something or the other and remain unhappy. And they don’t feel much happiness in their life. We call such people self-critical people.
Self-criticism is a tendency in which people view themselves as negative and pessimistic. Once an event turns unfavourable to them, they think that they will always be in the same position. So such people are said to be self-critical and this tendency is called self-criticism.
Disadvantages of Self Criticism-
People with this tendency always feel restless and lack self-confidence. They do not feel happy and feel stressed. This affects their health and relationship with others.
Causes of Self Criticism
If you want to understand its root cause, you will see that many times this tendency with people depends on how they were brought up in their childhood. Sometimes some parents are authoritarian and always notice their children’s mistakes and point out their mistakes over and over again. There is no warmth in their upbringing, not so much kindness. And when things are shared with kids over and over again, they start to believe that they can’t fix anything.
Not only parents, other family members, teachers or friends can also contribute to cause such behaviour of children.
Due to the tendency toward self-criticism, people are always under stress about something or the other. Their self-confidence is so low that they are not able to take much risk to do any work. They don’t put much effort and their inner potential and skills don’t come out completely.
Therefore, whoever sends negative comments to children should never make such a mistake.
On the other hand, if children are brought up with love and trust in childhood, then they have the freedom to make such mistakes so that they do no harm. Such children grow up to be very confident. And they never face an inferiority complex or low self-esteem.
If you want to stop being self-critical, there are a few steps you can take to bring about lasting change within yourself.
Step 1. Note down all your thoughts which aggravate your Self-critical behaviour-
The number one step is to write down whatever you are thinking of. Putting it down on paper means that whatever feelings bother you and about which you are thinking wrong about yourself, write down the whole thing. However, writing down their feelings is a very challenging task for many people. You won’t even find the first word when you start typing the answer. So, here are some pointers. You can start writing like,
I think so, this is what I do. It happened to me, I wanted to do this.
And then write the reason for it.
Sometimes, you will feel stuck for a while that you are not able to write further, so close your eyes to focus on your thoughts. Try to understand them. Keep writing and don’t read the matter until you finish it.
Step 2. Identify the destructive thought-
When you have completed writing your thoughts, read them over and see which destructive thoughts are bothering you. Figure out which thought is causing your thinking to become self-critical.
Step 3. Know the reason for your destructive thought
Once you know the destructive thought which is causing you trouble, you will be able to know the cause of that thought. What is causing you to think negatively?
Maybe you remember that in childhood someone used to look down on you again and again. Or there has been some incident which is the reason for such a thought.
Sometimes when you try to remember the old events, you cannot recall what happened in reality. Then in such a case, you should ignore it and analyze your thoughts.
Now try to think that if such thoughts were coming to any of your friends, what would you suggest to them? Do you tell him that since you have failed twice, then you will also be unsuccessful if you try a third time?
No. It’s not like that. You will not give such a suggestion to anyone. You will tell him a logical thing that not getting success twice means your preparation was insufficient. If you prepare well for the third time and you will get successful. So, if you would suggest such a thing to your friend, then why give yourself a negative opinion? When you analyze things properly, you will realize that you are thinking wrong about yourself. So, you will keep yourself away from this wrong thinking in the future.
Step 4. Are your thoughts logical?
When you realize your mistake, give yourself a positive alternative. Note down such alternatives to make you think positively. This is a kind of positive mantra, which you have to repeat to bring about permanent change.
Step 5- Continue practicing Alternative choices
So, the last point is that whatever positive alternative you want to bring permanent change in you, practice it continuously and regularly. Because no change comes at once, you have to practice it continuously so that the change becomes permanent.
In case you encounter such a situation in the future, you will be able to replace your self-critical thoughts with a positive mantra. You will see that gradually you become a self-compassionate person. By understanding your mistakes, then properly analyzing self-critical thoughts and replacing them with positive alternatives, you will soon be a better version of yourself.
It is advisable for everyone to observe your thought pattern and if you find that you are self-critical, check your behaviour immediately. You should take proper action to identify the cause of such behaviour. And then change that negative behaviour to a positive one.