Self-Critical – From Attitude Reconstruction

From Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life by Jude Bijou
pages 228-229.

An Attitude about Yourself, associated primarily with the emotion of sadness:

Self-Critical (self-deprecating, self-loathing, demanding perfection)

Solution: Appreciate yourself.

 What You’re Experiencing

  • Believe your caretaker’s, parent’s, or other’s negative judgments and demeaning labels
  • Trash yourself by calling yourself “stupid,” “pathetic,” “a loser”
  • Turn anger inward and beat yourself up for not living up to your unreasonably high expectations with “I should have…” or “I shouldn’t have…”
  • Take one problem and turn it into two; add brutal self-loathing to the mistake itself — a social blunder, poor financial decision, or thoughtless comment

The Price You Pay

  • Pressuring yourself to do and say everything perfectly, dread making mistakes and taking risks
  • Hating yourself, making self-deprecating comments
  • Punishing yourself, such as cutting or starving yourself
  • Raising the bar to be perfect, believing your worth is determined by what you do
  • Expecting unrealistic possibilities, judging yourself negatively
  • Limiting your own potential

How to Change

  • When you make mistakes praise what you did well, and look for the lesson
  • Replace self-demeaning messages with self-appreciations either when berating yourself or being criticized by others
  • Ignore discomfort in saying nice things about yourself, start with something small like a positive trait, talent, or quality
  • Compliment your abilities, characteristics, qualities, efforts
  • Recite self-appreciations and soak in their meaning, stand tall and proud, nod your head up and down, and physically express any emotions that surface (laughing is good)
  • Try writing one, two or three self-appreciations each day, and at the end of a week, read list out loud with enthusiasm, conviction, and a smile

Power On

Vigorously interrupt all the “Yes, buts” or discounting thoughts while appreciating self

  • I have a good sense of humor and can be funny.
  • Im a dependable friend.
  • I exercise and eat healthy food.
  • Im a loving mom.
  • I keep in touch with my grandfather.

Start small and appreciate little accomplishments.

  • I paid my rent on time.
  • I’ve resisted doughnuts for three days.
  • I didn’t say something grumpy when the alarm went off this morning.
  • I helped my neighbor jumpstart his car’s battery.

To make statements more powerful, begin sentences with “I appreciate that I…”, “I like that I…”, or “I love that I…”

The Upside

  • You accept and respect yourself, are gentle with yourself, and become your biggest fan
  • You feel proud of your accomplishments and yourself
  • You are increasingly more confident

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