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Being overly critical of yourself goes hand in hand with low self-esteem, as well as other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Constructive criticism can be appropriate, healthy, and helpful at times, however, being overly critical is not. When you’re overly critical, you might have unreasonable expectations, exaggerate the negatives or you might be extremely judgemental of yourself. For a healthy self-esteem, it’s important to see yourself in a healthy, balanced way. To do that, you need to stop being overly critical of yourself.
Note that these tips are not intended as a substitute for therapy. If you’re finding it challenging to stop being overly critical, I encourage you to seek the help of a mental health professional.
Look out for signs of being overly critical. Notice your thoughts, words, actions and patterns you repeat. These might include putting yourself down or talking about yourself in a negative way. Stop putting yourself down because it’s a form of emotional bullying.
See the positives as well as the negatives. Pay attention to the good things about yourself and get a more balanced picture. Everyone has their positives and negatives, and it’s important to stop exaggerating the negatives. Most importantly, don’t believe your negative thoughts because they distort the picture.
Balance feelings with thoughts. It can be easy to be immersed in your feelings and act according to emotion. However, just because you feel worthless doesn’t mean you are, and it’s important to not draw conclusions based on feelings alone. It might help to see things as an unbiased outsider, and consider a ‘rational’ as well as ’feelings’ point of view.