Is self-criticism going off-scale? Why is this bad and how to fight?

Is self-criticism good or bad? Remember how in childhood you were told, “Be more modest!”, “Do not push yourself out!” And you diligently belittled your merits and achievements, looking for shortcomings in yourself, thinking that you have no right to make a mistake. And now you are the most severe critic of yourself. But is it right?

How to know if you’re overly self-critical

Also, what is impostor syndrome, and what to do about it?

What is self-criticism for, and what is it good for?

Without self-criticism, you cannot fully exist. You’re mistaken, admit your mistakes, reflect on them, and do not repeat them. That is why you are given self-criticism. Along with critical thinking, it gives you a complete picture of the world, allowing you to look at yourself from the outside. Through self-criticism, you spot shortcomings and see your strengths. It improves your productivity, social skills, and ability to learn from your mistakes.

If you are okay with self-esteem, you perceive your mistakes according to the “good-bad-good” scheme; if something turns out, this is a plus; if there is no minus, you need to admit defeat and do better next time. But people do not always have healthy self-criticism.

Signs of toxic self-criticism

If your self-esteem is low or you are a perfectionist, suffer from an “excellent student’s complex,” then self-criticism becomes toxic, excessive. You are too demanding of yourself; you like to engage in self-examination and destructive personality analysis.

You go out of your way to do everything right, but you continue to quarter yourself even having achieved this. It’s even worse if you need everything to be perfect, but it doesn’t work that way. And now you are already losing productivity, switching to self-deprecation.

What are the signs of toxic self-criticism?

You were constantly criticized as a child

It doesn’t matter who: overly demanding parents, school teachers, or coaches from the sports section. The main thing is that you remember the taste of this bitterness. That is why psychologists assure that the practice of scolding, shaming and publicly shaming negatively affects self-criticism and self-esteem. As an adult, you continue to criticize yourself often and aggressively, which is wrong.

Think if you catch yourself doing this, especially if you don’t see anything wrong with it.

Do you remember all your mistakes?

If you spend a lot of time remembering to yourself all the mistakes and mistakes that you made, this is a sign that you have toxic self-criticism.

You are overly demanding of yourself

Are you missing something all the time to feel happy? Does the Instagram feed, where everyone is beautiful and successful, give you bouts of self-criticism? Bad sign!

You are unhappy with your results

Got a promotion? Oh yes, you are not the head of the department. Have you washed the floor? Who missed that spot over there? And so on ad infinitum. If you are constantly looking for mistakes in your achievements, you have problems with self-criticism.

You think bad and feel anxious

It may not be so bad to calculate the worst-case scenario. But not when you drive yourself into a frenzy by replaying scenes of the deafening fiasco in your mind.

You don’t ask for advice and help

Do you think that only weak and uneducated people do this? Well, this is stupid and destructive. You will deal with the problem much faster if you need help and are not shy about asking for it.

You blame yourself for everything

If you know perfectly well that you have absolutely nothing to do with the current situation, but you continue to blame yourself for everything, it’s time for you to turn to a psychologist. A hypertrophied sense of responsibility and low self-esteem often ruin a life.

Impostor Syndrome – what is it?

Imposter syndrome is formed as a result of low self-esteem and toxic self-criticism. This is when you have achieved success, but you don’t feel like you deserve it. This is because you do not believe in your strength, professionalism, creative thinking, and talent. You think you have been mistaken for a more competent person. What other signs of impostor syndrome are there?

  • You blame your success on luck, mistake, or accident;
  • You are afraid that sooner or later, everyone will understand that you are not competent in your profession;
  • You think that everyone can do the same as you;
  • Having achieved another success, you think that you have deceived everyone again;
  • You get upset if mistakes are pointed out to you, believing that everyone understood your skill level;
  • You suffer from even a minor oversight in your work.

How to deal with excessive self-criticism?

If you do not want to go to a psychologist, and excessive self-criticism does not allow you to live, try to take independent steps. Several options are suitable for this purpose. First, get yourself a notebook with a beautiful cover, a kind of success diary. Write one sentence each day describing what you were good about today. The next time self-criticism hits you, reread what you have achieved and what you have been able to do.

Second, take a minute to compliment yourself in the evenings. Buy yourself beautiful things as a reward for success, indulge yourself with delicious food when you succeed, etc. But if none of this works, still go to a specialist. Do not suffer!

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