At times when things don’t work out, I can revert back to my old thinking patterns and tend to criticize myself.
In my younger years, I picked it up somewhere that if I am hard on myself when I mess up, I will do better the next time, and if I do good then I should celebrate myself.
That old reward and punishment system.
But the more I did that, the less it seemed to work in favour of empowering me forward or helping me see myself in a better light.
What I came to learn is two very simple things.
1. If criticizing myself worked, it would’ve showed me exponential and effortless growth. But it didn’t. 2. Being tough on myself was shrinking me and was a form of self shame. Completely futile.
Now when my old thinking wants to kick in and criticize me, I slow down and remind myself of how completely unhelpful it has always been, and that helps those thoughts fade away so I can default back to celebrating what’s present here and now.
If you are someone that also criticizes themselves when things don’t go exactly how you want, then consider this simple and profound quote by Steve Chandler.
“Self Criticism is like pulling a lamps plug out of the wall because it isn’t giving the room enough light. But now the whole room goes completely dark. Oops” - Steve Chandler.