Replacing Self-Criticism

Oskar Blakstad2.5K reads

If self-criticism continues to occur, you have to find appropriate substitutes to replace it with. These require learning and a lot of practice, but will come with effort and time.

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This short and simple exercise is a good start, which doesn’t require too much effort, and is a good way to create a baseline for further work.

Experiment with Self-Criticism

Self-criticism is a two pronged fork that may go in either direction. However, there is a way to ensure that despite self-criticism, one can lead a fulfilling and productive life. Here’s a two-day experiment with self-criticism.

The first day includes going about your usual routine, indulging in self-criticism as you would do on a normal day. The second day involves practicing thought-observation, without the judgment. This was earlier explained in the exercise on being mindful of your thoughts. Then follow it up with some constructive criticism.

Investigate Your Behavior

During both days, pay attention to how you feel and behave. Answer questions, such as “How does it feel, compared to a typical day?”, “Are you motivated to pursue your goals?”, “Did you achieve more or less than usual?”, “Was your behavior constructive and consistent with your goals?”

Compare and Contrast

Compare both the days and any similarities or differences between them. Gradually, you will come to realize that the days with constructive self-criticism make you happier and more efficient, compared to the ones with harsh self-criticism.