How kind are you to yourself? Are you competitive and hold high standards – which is a great thing. Or, are you self-deprecating and judgmental – which isn’t a great thing.
Judging yourself too harshly can take the power out of self-reflection. Self-reflection is a positive way to explore your standards and your status and make sure they line up. Judging turns constructive criticism into self-abuse.
How can you be sure you are being constructive with your self-critique? Let’s compare these concepts and see where you lie.
Admits flaws while loving the self– Being able to admit flaws allows for growth and change. Realizing you are not where you want to be and refusing to judge yourself for it makes way for change. Whatever needs to be done to make change is a reality; how you think about it is an emotion. They are not the same. Example: losing weight. Fact: This entails reducing calories and exercising. Lie: You are a bad person who has no self-control, and that’s why you’re overweight.
Is humble– It takes courage to admit you need to make change. Our egos get in the way and negative self-talk can keep pride in the forefront. Constructive criticism allows for honesty in a safe headspace and doesn’t cast blame or shame.
Wants you to succeed– Constructive criticism is designed for change. The goal is to help you see what’s not working and find a solution. The hope of constructive criticism is your success.
Is based on shame– Judgement is a painful way of expressing flaws. It causes shame to swallow you and prevents the peace that comes from lovingly accepting what could be better. Shame judges the character of the person, not the action.
Is cruel and fatalistic– Judgement is filled with what could have been instead of what can be. Judgement tells you it’s too late or too hard. Judgement won’t allow forgiveness and repentance. Judgement keeps a tally and demands justice, even when grace is all that is needed.
Thinks you’ve already failed– Judgement sees your current state as the end. That there is no getting back on track and attempting is feeble and won’t be redemptive.
Your confidence is tied to your emotional health and maturity. How you speak to yourself in your head matters. It is a direct reflection of the confidence you have. If you lean more toward the constructive criticism scale, then hurray for you! If you find yourself leaning toward judgement, stop judging and get yourself some help. You can change how you think and improve your inner dialogue.