Talking about self criticism may sound discourteous and weird to each one of us. This very concept is quite cynical. Yes, self criticism is a negative trait, can be harmful or injurious to one's self esteem and personality. A person with negative mind frame will take everything negatively. Forget about self criticism, even his best qualities look like obstacles to him. People who don't value their self worth think negatively not only about themselves but also about others. They lack compassion not only for themselves but also for others. When such is the case, there is no room for self improvement and self growth as an individual. There is a long dark tunnel with no light at the end. Such people do suffer from low self esteem, isolation, depression and loneliness. But then again, as a human mind flaw, we do very often consciously or sub consciously tends to be self critical. Though we might make up our mind completely or promised ourselves fully not to be self critical. But, we do default many a times. Blame it on our human mind or the basic human nature. End of the road, it's our mind that needs to be trained to make our critical thoughts as a tool for self improvement and self growth.
We, as human beings are full of flaws. As individuals, it is a continuous process to be aware of our flaws and work towards improving or rectifying them. The concept of self compassion, self criticism, self awareness and self esteem has been research topics for a lot of social psychologists. Why is the topic of "self" important or rather interesting in our day to day lives? Another question props up in our mind, why it is altogether necessary to learn self awareness, self improvement or self compassion as a fact? The simple reason is because each an everyday we deal with people, situations, circumstances at home, workplace or everywhere we go. But then, why do we have to change, when we know we are near or just perfect? Yes, it's true that we need not change to please others. The word 'change' here is to bring maturity within us, our own personality growth, and our view of compassion and empathy towards self and others. This way, life would become a lot smoother at workplace, home and with people around us. Our intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships become easier to handle and we are in a happy space. This has an effect directly on our successes and failures too. Therefore, it is essential for us to put a continuous effort to bring out the best for us in every spheres of life, be it at home or at work.
Learning self awareness and self analysis can bring out positive changes in our personality. But researchers have found to yield negative result by self criticism. Many times, it creates fear, lower our self esteem and impede goals. On the other hand, self criticism can be harsh at times. Instead of acknowledging and improving weaknesses, it overshadows one's personality. It can lead to procrastination or not at all trying due to fear of failure. This may even lead to embarrassment and loneliness or isolation. Mentally, the person would engulf himself inside a shell and try to remain detach from the outside world. In such cases, it will greatly affect the mental health and the overall growth of the individual. Therefore, understanding self worth is very important. Self criticism can only be helpful if we value our self worth. When we have a positive mind frame, have self confidence and determination to improve and reach our goals, self criticism can bring positive change.
Therefore, being self critical is not always bad unless we strive for positive attitude and positive change in us. I think the wisest way to deal with self criticism is changing our attitude, our outlook towards self. Every one of us are unique, be in personality, talents, skills and have our own set of unique life experiences. Obviously, my life journey is not similar to someone else's .So there is no reason of comparing myself with someone else's. Comparison and competitiveness should be within oneself and not with others. My strength and weaknesses are not same as someone else's. We should work hard and strive for excellence to reach our goal and not someone else's goal. If this attitude and boundaries are clear in our head, life becomes much easier. Understanding self and being compassionate towards self is the key. Maybe that's the reason, researchers have stressed upon being self compassion as the focal point to lead a happy and contented life. Various studies show self compassion clearly has positive impact on us. It does lessen our anxiety and depression when dealing with stress and lows of life. Accepting as we are and not being judgemental to our good or bad. It's not a feeling being better or above others. Self compassion involves no competition or comparison with others. It's about self care, coping up with our faults and trying to overcome them without feeling guilty, keeping the humanness intact.
In every one of us, we carry an image of ideal self at back of our mind. There is a continuous process of struggle consciously or sub consciously in our mind between our actual self image and our ideal self. So this process of struggle leads to self criticism or being self critical in certain traits of our personality. We cannot do away with it or completely get rid of it. It's a basic human nature. But as long as, we have a positive mind set, compassionate approach towards life, self analysing, self awareness is gainful, can also self criticism bring positive changes in our lives. The message is clear in my head, that I, myself work upon, want to bring about positive change in me for myself and not for someone else's. I do not have to look around to value my worth. For me, I believe I am unique, important because I am me !
About Author / Additional Info:
A Medical Professional who is enthusiastic in writing on health related topics.