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Are you very demanding with yourself? 7 keys to manage self-criticism

Are you very demanding with yourself? 7 keys to manage self-criticism

October 21, 2020

If you think that the biggest demands and the toughest evaluations come from yourself, this post can help you face self-criticism .

Many times it seems that the worst enemy is within ourselves. Instead of encouraging us on the road to our goals and learning from our mistakes, we waste time demanding perfection and criticizing us negatively. These habits harm our performance and the personal image we have of ourselves.

You may be interested: "Perfectionist personality: the disadvantages of perfectionism"

What do we understand by self-criticism and why is it harmful?

The self-criticism usually a type of pathological criticism, that is, it is a negative evaluation that a person makes of himself or of her actions and that does not help her to give the best of herself. It is often called pathological criticism because it escapes the control of the person and ends up hurting their performance and self-esteem.


Self-criticism usually takes the form of negative comments, which focus on the mistakes made or the goals not reached. And above all, it is a criticism that is not constructive because it does not guide us on how to use our strengths to improve our weaknesses.

The negative voice that reminds us of what we do wrong

In other words, Self-criticism is that negative voice that highlights our failures or our lack of perfection . It tells us what goes wrong, compares us with others, with their achievements and their abilities, and sets impossible standards of perfection. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to face self-criticism in an objective and adaptive way.


Facing self-criticism is a task that is often difficult, since it is we who are giving ourselves these messages, and we have endowed our thoughts with great power. As it is our voice that makes us these criticisms, it is difficult to ignore it and move forward on the road to our goals.

So, how can you face self-criticism?

Next I explain one of the keys to managing self-criticism and taking advantage of it , avoiding being too demanding with ourselves. You are ready?

1. Know yourself to tame your inner voice

The first step to face self-criticism properly is know her. You have to analyze on what specific topics are your criticisms and what thoughts are associated with them . It is about identifying what messages you give yourself, in what situation, what you feel and what you think. You can keep a written record so that you can later analyze the criticisms of yourself in detail and with peace of mind, when you have a moment.


2. Discover the emotions that makes your critical voice come to you

Once you have identified what form your self-criticism has, and what emotions and thoughts are associated with it; you have to unmask the purpose of these criticisms. What do you try to show your emotions? What fear is it that moves these criticisms? Knowing what is behind the self-criticism will make it easier for you to attack the source of it.

3. Motivation or concern?

Everything we do or think has a function, although it is not obvious, there is always a reason in what we do and think. The human being is an animal that guides his behavior to goals, therefore, it is important that you identify the function of self-criticism. For example, you can try to use self-criticism to motivate you; for example, by demanding yourself to perform more and better. What happens is that many times self-criticism and personal demands end up being the focus of our attention and we lose sight of the goal we were pursuing .

4. Flee from perfectionism

We only care to do better and achieve perfection; this generates levels of stress and anxiety that end up hurting our performance . With which, we criticize ourselves and demand to do better, and end up hurting our performance with the demands. If in your case, you think that self-criticism seeks to motivate you, you can implement strategies to motivate you in a positive way and thus reduce your level of demand.

We only care to do better and achieve perfection; this generates levels of stress and anxiety that end up hurting our performance . With which, we criticize ourselves and demand to do better, and end up hurting our performance with the demands. If in your case, you think that self-criticism seeks to motivate you, you can implement strategies to motivate you in a positive way and thus reduce your level of demand.

5. Mentalize for failure: a double-edged sword

On the other hand, self-criticism can give the false perception of preparing ourselves for a possible failure.If we believe that we are not doing well and we give ourselves this message, it would seem that if we fail we already expected it. This is an illusion. If we fail, it will affect us even more, because self-criticism prolongs the time we are receiving negative messages and these end up validating with our experience .

6. Solution: relativize and question your thoughts

To be able to face self-criticism effectively we need to be able to distance ourselves from our thoughts and understand them as mental contents , and no, as absolute truths. Distance from thoughts is a capacity that is achieved through the practice and modification of certain mental habits. You can practice distancing yourself from your thoughts and observe them as contents of your mind if you intend to acquire the habit of questioning yourself why you think something and what evidence you have to be sure or doubt what you think. It can also be useful to observe your thoughts as messages that your mind gives you and that as you have them let them go, without doing anything with them.

7. Solution: are you reproducing the fears and insecurities of other people?

Another way to deal with self-criticism is to analyze if this pattern of behavior we have copied from people we had or have in our environment. This is extremely important in order to take control of our mind. For this, you can ask yourself: Is this way of criticizing me copied from someone? Is it the result of my personal will or have I learned that it is the best way to improve my performance? Do I really want to be this way?

Overcome your fears and pursue your dreams

You have to be aware that all the information you find about yourself, the fears that guide your demands and your self-criticism have to serve you to act differently.

Distancing yourself from your thoughts and valuing the function of the criticisms you make to yourself, must guide you to attack the source of your fears. Facing self-criticism implies a modification of our habits, therefore, we need time to put into practice a different way of facing ourselves. If you follow these steps, You will be closer to overcome these insecurities and be able to successfully face the challenges that you propose .


Tell Me About Yourself - A Good Answer to This Interview Question (October 2020).


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