Self-criticism is a type of awareness and like anything, must be kept in balance to serve its purpose to make better choices!
Awareness, Choices, Emotions, Growth, Mindfulness, Personal Resonsibility, Positive Choices

The Good and Bad of Self-Criticism

Self-criticism is a common aspect of our personality that most people will wrestle with in life. I certainly do, and let’s be honest…it can be brutal. While I believe self-criticism helps keep me dialed into life assessment, including my faults and limitations, it’s a double-edged sword that can be disastrous if I don’t keep it in check.

The good side of self-criticism is that I see where I can make changes and improvements for a healthier, more productive, and satisfying lifestyle like eating better, getting good sleep, being an active listener, or showing grace with challenging people or situations. This self-criticism may challenge my choices and ask if I’m giving my best effort and paying enough attention to what’s most important to me.

I feel self-criticism is a kind of “awareness” that when used properly helps me consider my options and make adjustments to align my values and wants with my actions like living a healthier, more productive, and satisfying lifestyle like eating better, getting good sleep, being an active listener, or showing grace with challenging people or situations.

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.

William Ellery Channing

The bad side of self-criticism is if this “awareness” is given too much space and ventures into relentless, negative comparison, where I’ll always lose, because if done with a critical mindset, we tend to compare ourselves upward with people that aren’t even in our league. The result is an excess amount of disgust and self-loathing and in worst case scenarios, when left unchecked, can explode into self-hatred and depression, or drift into the opposite direction of narcissism.

Self-criticism is a tough hurdle to jump for anyone. It’s not a one and done, no, it’s a constant companion throughout our lifetime. I think the key is to get past it. I’ve jumped it. I’ve gone around it. I’ve crawled under it but the point was, I was damn well getting past it!

No doubt, our health, environmental circumstances, and maturity play a big role in our choices, but the bottom line is we need to get past our hurdles. Like it or not, the hurdles blocking our way are life lessons we’ve got to resolve to move forward and thrive in life. Sometimes it’s an attitude adjustment, paired with a necessary behavior change, or maybe having a more empathetic response to our current life situation but, unless something changes, we’ll simply find ourselves dealing with some version of this life lesson farther down the road. Sadly, I find the longer we resist self-growth, the stronger and more intense the lesson grows in the future.

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself into one

Henry David Thoreau

So, let’s take the lead from the experts in addressing and dissolving self-criticism. Criticism is said to be calling attention to something that may need addressed such as past pain or destructive or “limiting” behaviors. To better handle self-criticism they suggest we observe the talk. Key word, “observe”!

They point out that to witness it shines light on the dark corners in our soul and where the light shines, the darkness can’t exist at the same time, and it begins to fade! When we witness our pains or fears we have an opportunity to address it with self-compassion. Giving ourselves lovingkindness and acceptance of past hurt helps us being to heal and clear out use the space it’s taking up in our life and let it go to make room for more loving and peaceful emotions which is one of our primary reasons to be.

Problems will continue to pop-up but when we approach them with optimism and hope for what we can learn to do better, we squelch the beastly voice of self-criticism by learning to rise above these problems because the problem doesn’t define our life, it’s how we solve the problem that defines our life. Seek to understand, commit to change, and enjoy the results. ❤️

Keep it Simple,

Just Teri

9 thoughts on “The Good and Bad of Self-Criticism”

  1. Self-criticism is a big part of musician training, listening to yourself sing is accompanied with a mental notebook of things to improve for the future, and often a physical notebook to make sure you remember. Every lesson you write up your crit. sheet for informed practice. In group lessons the group is invited to comment on your performance. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thanks so much Charlotte❣️

      I’m greatly appreciative of your comment. Thats a excellent illustration of a healthy critique ❣️❣️👍🏻

      Thanks for taking time to comment❤️🤗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dwight❣️ it’s a balance right? 😉

      People on a journey of self discovery and development usually wrestle with self criticism more often and we need reminders to be kind to ourselves ❤️🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 💜 As Ever, an Awesome, Courageous Post SupaSoulSis; ergo, EveryOne, Broadly Speaking 🔊 , “Criticism” is either DESTRUCTIVE!!! or Constructive…it’s Really Difficult to Assist a ‘Dumb’ Parent to SEE (Soulful Emotional Energy) The Effects UpBringing may have on a Child Well in to Adulthood; even unto The Grave…basically, “Self Talk” Determines how We Treat Others, “I never thought I was a bully until I listened to how I talk to myself.’ ~ Anon; it’s Crystal Clear Clarity that I AM Fortunate Being Single and No Accountability or Responsibility for Others on a Day-to-Day Basis…meanwhile Enjoying The Solitude Afforded by Singledom; because I Don’t Really Like Being Around People Very Much due to Our InCompatible Energy Fields that Some Label ‘Auras’…this Voluntary Solitude also Assists with My “Self” Examination; which (WITCH!!! 🧙 🪄🧹) makes it Easier to Process Tense Exchanges, that May Consequence in Falling Out, by My Admitting, Acknowledging and Addressing My MMHI (Multiple Mental Health Issues) from My ABC (Abusive Brutal Conditioned) UpBringing that was Largely UnIntended by My Parents and Other Primary CareGivers who Knew No Better…right NOW!!! My Marvellous Mom 👩 is Complaining about The Monster SHE!!! Raised, Me, who is ‘Attacking’ HER!!! when The Reality is this; in My Situation there is Very Little Family Contact because the Conversations tend to Deteriorate in to Accusations, Conflict and Mud Slinging or Stony Silence 🔕 …fortunately My Male Biological Progenitor doesn’t have to Deal with This Family NoneSense NOW!!! Being Six Foot Under; with The Fesitive Season Under Way please, please, please 🥺 Be Kind, Caring and Compassionate with YOUR!!! Families 👪 by Actively Listening and Respectfully 🙏 Responding to Any Perceived “Criticism” EveryBody, or Suffer The Consequences 🥺

    …💛💚💙…

    Like

  3. Great post, Teri. Self-criticism seems to be one of those voices that it’s almost impossible to banish, and even if it’s quiet for awhile, always reappears. I guess all we can do is be mindful of it, and try to squash it when we notice it. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

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