Following on from Wednesday post about self-criticism, I wanted to talk through some ways combatting these thoughts. For sure, self-criticism is not easy to recognise and overcome however, with practice and counselling we can begin to recognise this behaviour and make positive changes to live happier freer lives.
1. Evidence your beliefs – not all things we believe about ourselves are true so we must think – for this belief I have what evidence is there for and against it. Does anything contradict it? Counter evidence may be hard to find but this is part of the work!
2. Are there any other points of view? To assume only our point of view is correct in somewhat self-absorbed even if it is about ourselves. Think about how you would perceive the situation on a different day with different circumstances, what would you say to others if they came to you with this thought? How would you have viewed this before it became difficult?
3. What are the emotional consequences of thinking like this on me? What do you want form life, what are your goals, what’s your focus? Do the advantages of thinking like this outweigh the disadvantages and ultimately is it the best way to get what you want?
4. Think about subjectivity – are you jumping to confusions, contradicting yourself, thinking all or nothing? Are you thinking only in terms of this single event or basing your opinion on a multitude of things.
5. Is anyone perfect? You know we’re not! Being not perfect does mean you have given up, just means you are being realistic.
Remember this is extremely hard word, commit and persevere and you will feel liberating, living life freer and more content. Spotting our critical behaviour is hard and gruelling but we must pass through it do undo years of negative reinforcements to make a positive change for ourselves.