It’s good to do your best and try to be the most acceptable individual you can be. It just makes sense to check your bad results in life and aim to do better the next time. But it’s also straightforward to become too self-critical. A high level of self-criticism is harmful to your success and good mental health. Excessive self-criticism hurts your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Think about these symptoms that you might be too self-critical of yourself:
- Your Actions don’t follow your words. One sign that you’re incredibly critical towards yourself is a lack of action. If you have been held in the same scenario for a prolonged time, you’re too hard on yourself. Otherwise, you’d be out there working and making positive modifications to your life. For example, I was in a broken, lousy relationship for over four years. Being cheated, laughed at and even abused, all I would do is talk to a couple of my friends about it. I finally got the courage to take action but it was four years too late.
- You’re hesitant to forgive. When you can’t pardon yourself, you’re unable to forgive others. When you can let go and excuse yourself, you can do the same for the others as well.
- You’re never satisfied with your achievements. It doesn’t matter to you that you jogged for 10 miles or topped medical school. You’re badly bothered by the fact that you didn’t walk 20 or go to Harvard.
- You consistently say nasty things to yourself. There’s little wrong in a small percentage of destructive self-talk. However, a consistent barrage of self-criticism is hugely damaging. Imagine informing your children that they can’t do anything right and should just quit trying. It sounds crazy when seen from that prospect.
- You’re a constant underachiever. Underachieving is both a sign and a reason for self-criticism. Constant underachieving is a signal to the action!
- Others feel happy being critical of you. The average individual isn’t really at ease scrutinizing others. Nevertheless, after they have seen you criticize yourself regularly, they’re likely to feel they can join in the criticism themselves.
- You criticize yourself in broad terms, rather than just for special occasions. There’s a difference between informing yourself that you’re not a great rugby player and telling yourself that you’re bad at everything you do. Generalized criticism is wrong and extremely destructive. An absence of success at a particular activity does not make you flawed at everything. It’s not at all logical.
- You keep all your opinions to yourself. While you have every reason to dodge telling your next-door neighbor she looks funny and fat in her gown; you should feel happy sharing your favorite book’s title. If you don’t feel comfy sharing your opinions easily, you’re too concerned about being judged by others or saying the wrong thing.
- You invest too much time concentrating on your mistakes. Can you move on immediately after a short period of self-reflection or harp on your mistakes for a lengthy time?
You’re ruining yourself by being overly self-critical. You restrict both your progress and your state of mind. Know just how much you damage yourself with self-criticism. Keep learning from your mistakes and apply the experience with interest and optimism.