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Have You Fallen Prey To Self Criticism?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

While analysing oneself is a healthy way to learn how to overcome weaknesses and bad habits, it often transforms into self-devaluation. Take this quiz to find out if you are over-analysing and being too harsh on yourself, says Sunny Rodricks

A positive inner dialogue is what we all strive to achieve. However, that’s easier said than done. What starts out as a positive exercise in building self-confidence and character can end up causing you to tear your hair out. Toxic self-criticism can hurt your self-esteem and self-confidence, robbing you off your mental strength. If you suspect that this may be happening to you, take our quiz to be sure. And, read our tips to stay positive and avoid falling on your own sword.

1.            Do you blame yourself for the negative situations that you find yourself in?

                a) I blame myself completely.

                b) I do take some of the blame, but I also take into consideration the factors that led to the      negative situation.

                c) I don’t look at it that way. Instead, I fix the problem and act as a problem-solver.

2.            Do you force yourself to hold back and often avoid expressing your opinion?

                a) Yes. I believe it’s better to be dumb than to act like a show-offy know-it-all.

                b) I give my opinion when someone asks me to or wants to know my perspective.

                c) I give my opinion all the time! In all situations!

3.            Do you ask for help from friends, family or anyone else?

                a) No. I like to do things my way! Also, I don’t want to come across as weak or inept.

                b) I ask for help if I don’t understand something.

                c) I’m always asking for help, as it improves me as a person.

4.            Do you feel happy and satisfied with your achievements?

                a) I am never happy. I believe that if you can’t do something right, you shouldn’t do it at all.

                b) I take pride in my achievements and learn from my mistakes.

                c) I always look on the bright side and celebrate every achievement, be it small or big, with family and friends. 

5.            Do you get defensive when given feedback or criticism?

                a) I feel hurt and angry when people question my decisions and choices or criticise me.

                b) I feel as if I am learning from my mistakes, but I do what my heart tells me.

                c) I love getting feedback! I take it wholeheartedly, as it helps me grow and improve.

6.            How often do you compliment yourself?

                a) I feel strange when complimenting myself, so I avoid it most of the time.

                b) I do compliment myself when I have done good or achieved something.

                c) I compliment myself all the time to boost my self-esteem and morale.

Mostly As You are a self-criticiser who doesn’t see the good in yourself. You feel that if you can’t do something right, you shouldn’t do it at all. This attitude has stopped you from asking for help when you need it. When people provide you with feedback or even constructive criticism, you are easily hurt or angry, which affects you further, plummeting your self-confidence.

Mostly Bs While you do criticise yourself, you realise the damage it can have if you go overboard. You don’t hesitate to ask for help and learn from your mistakes, and although you celebrate each and every achievement, the self-criticiser in you always keeps you grounded. You do take people’s advice and suggestions, but you tend to follow your heart and do what you feel is right. You seem to be quite balanced and not overly critical of yourself. 

Mostly Cs It seems like you are a happy-go-lucky person. You live life in the moment and don’t care to criticise yourself much. Complimenting yourself all the time may keep your  self-esteem high, but it may be your undoing in the long run. While it is good to be positive and celebrate your achievements, if you overdo it,it may seem like you are you throwing your victories in other people’s faces, and they may start seeing you as arrogant and self-involved.

Don’t fall prey to self-criticism
Learning how to analyse yourself critically and in a balanced manner is important. Here’s how to make sure that you’re doing it correctly.

  • Change the channel: If you obsess over a mistake you made or if you can’t stop thinking about something bad that happened, you’ll drag yourself down. The best way to change the channel is by getting active. Go for a walk or phone a friend to talk about something else completely. But, don’t beat yourself up over it.
  • Think positive, be positive: By self-criticising, you are only harming yourself. You need to think more positively about yourself. Indulge in positive self-talks and positive affirmations and surround yourself with positive people.
  • Picture how bad it would be if your thoughts were true: It often happens that we envision a misstep turning into a catastrophe. But, often the worst case scenario isn’t as bad as we fear. For example, if you predict that you’re going to be rejected for a job, ask yourself how bad that might actually be. Rejection stings, but it’s not the end of the world. Reminding yourself that you can handle tough times boosts your morale.
  • Replace negativity with realistic statements: We know it’s difficult to get rid of negative thoughts, but replacing them with realistic statements will help you realise that negative thoughts aren’t always true. Replace negative thoughts like ‘I’ll never get a promotion.’ with realistic statements such as ‘If I work hard, I may get promoted someday.’
  • Save every compliment you get: Whether it’s about a job well done or helping an elderly lady cross the road, when someone sends you an appreciative message, savour it. Refer to them often as a counter to your self-criticism or when self-doubt starts to creep in.
  • Leave perfectionism at the door: Say this out aloud: “I’m human and I make mistakes. And that’s absolutely fine!” Aiming for an impossibly high standard will only lead to disappointment. Also, remember not to let minor or insignificant details distract you from the bigger picture.
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