Why am I my own worst critic?
Why am I such an idiot? When I look in the mirror all I see is a fat and ugly person. Everything I do is an abject failure, I just can’t get seem to do anything right. I don’t think I have any real friends as other people hate me.
At some point in our lives, we can all experience critical thoughts. Some people identify these thoughts as ‘the inner critic’, a negative voice that creates our own harmful internal dialogue. These thoughts can derail, disturb and put us off from taking positive actions that enable us to move forward and tackle unhelpful behaviours.
A lot of the time these things that we say to ourselves are the voices of other people who have been significantly persuasive in our lives; maybe our parents or other important caregivers such as grandparents or educators, even our friends or brothers and sisters. We may assimilate these voices into our consciousness so that they begin to become our own.
This can have a detrimental affect on our lives especially with regards to our own confidence and self-esteem, stopping us from maintaining healthy relationships or even being successful in our home and working lives.
This critical voice is generally damaging and can lead us to make poor decisions, so it’s not a good idea to trust or act upon it. Ignoring it though can be easier said than done, but paying attention to it initially, so we can recognise what is happening to us, might be a way to begin to challenge it and formulate alternative and more positive dialogues.
Doing this alone can be difficult so you might find that working with a counsellor can help you explore some of this thinking with an objective listener and help you to find ways of combatting it and working with those negative thoughts in the future.