Destructive self-criticism

Our internal monologues can be encouraging and inspiring but also can be an obstacle to reach our goals. If we continuously start with negative posing like self-criticism or self-blaming that can influence our mental capacity. How does an exaggerated self-criticism affect our life? How can we stop our very negative internal monologues? Can we change our narratives to a positive direction?

Our thoughts influence our behaviour and also influence how we feel. The way how we think is able to make us capable for self-fulfillment. Let’s see an example: We have applied for a job and we have the interview today. On the way to the interview our monologue is like “I won’t get this job.” Because of this though we are becoming discouraged (emotional reaction because of the thought) and it’s becoming visible on our body as well (Physical reaction) Like our shoulders is sunk, to make eye contact is becoming difficult and our tone of voice is changed. Overall, we create weak impression which is kind of sabotage of our own success. Here is the procedure:

Negative though →  Emotional reaction →  Physical reaction

A lot of people suffer from own strong self-criticism. They often question their decisions, they are irresolute, they have catastrophic thoughts about future and often use harsh, critical expressions about themselves. With what kind of strategy can we change this kind of behaviour? I’m giving you some practices from my therapy.

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First of all is to pay attention to your thoughts!

We get used to our internal narratives and easily forget what kind of messages we send to ourselves. Start to pay attention your thoughts. Recognize how often you make a mistake like mocking yourself, your mistakes or weaknesses. Can also happen that you are demotivating yourself to accomplish a difficult task or procrastinating it.

Approximately we have 60,000 thoughts per day and this can be 60,000 chance to send constructive or 60,000 destructive thoughts. To recognize and attain the pattern of our thoughts is a key element to understand that how our own thoughts can influence our life.

Study the situation!

We must acknowledge that; it’s not always truth what we think. Actually we are negative very often. To study all of the evidences is important before making a final judgement. For instance: You have to make a presentation tomorrow and you think “For sure I’m going to be embarrassed.” Okay, so grab a piece of paper and write down all of the evidences which support your thought. After please write down all of those which predestinate your success. The study of both sides can make you see more rationally the situation and less emotionally. Remind yourself that our thoughts can’t predict the future 100%.

Start to do physical activity!

Problem solving is useful but chaffing about the past is destructive. If you played over and over again all those mistakes what you have made in the past or you were not able to stop chaffing about the happening in the past you will completely destroy yourself. The solution is change the focus of your thoughts. The most effective solution s physical activity. Look for something which can distract your negative thoughts. Call a friend, go for a run or walk and try to be presented. See and feel what you are doing. Don’t “sit” in a negative though circulation.

Replace your exaggerated negative thoughts with real pronouncements!

After you found out that your negative thoughts are not completely truth try to replace them with more real pronouncements. For instance: “I will never get promoted!” sentence can be changed for “If I work hard enough it will have a positive result” Notice that; don’t use unreal positive pronouncements as well, they can be the same destructive as a serious lack of self-confidence.

Realistic and balanced conceptions are key elements to be mentally strong and level-headed man.

Evaluate the gravity of the situation!

Strange but also common to predict more catastrophic outcome as it can happen in real. People with destructive self-criticism are more willing to be prepared for the worst case scenario than others. Negative thoughts negative emotions. For instance we didn’t get that job. Is it really catastrophic? It can be painful to get refused but it doesn’t mean all the time this is the end of the world.

What could you advise to a friend?

Being permissive with other people often is easier than with ourselves. Just think of it, if your friend made a similar mistake as you did, would you use the same words and same criticism as you use with yourself? Probably not. If our beloved ones have a difficult time usually we reassure them instead of highlighting their mistakes. Why can’t you do the same with yourself?

You can use this strategy. Ask yourself! What would I say to a friend in the same situation?

Be your best friend!

Balance the self-improvement with self-aspect!

There is a relevant difference between “I’m not enough good” and “There are still possibilities to improve myself”. We must try to accept our weaknesses and defects and in the meantime striving to improve them. It may sound conflicting but possible to do it. First we must accept our present emotions even if they are connected to future like fears. In the other hand we can improve ourselves on those areas where we don’t feel enough safe.

Our mind can be our best friend but also our scariest enemy. Important to learn to handle it! The good news is those exercises which can help to change our way of thinking is learnable and can help to decrease destructive self-criticism. With their advantages we are able to have an effective internal monologue which can support our motivation and goals.

Picture: http://www.psychologytoday.com

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