“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark
Self-criticism can happen without you even noticing it. Putting yourself down can be an unconscious habit that can undermine your success. It can also push you beyond your physical and mental limits. Negative thoughts and self-talk can twist how you see yourself accurately and how much of yourself you put into work.
The inner critic can really rear its ugly head when you’re tired and keep pushing yourself to get something done. The truth is there will always be something on your to do list. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you are not human. Driving yourself to succeed in business doesn’t mean you drive yourself into the ground.
Self-criticism can take the form of thinking people will find out you’re a fraud. It could sound like:
- Someone will see through me and know I’m a fake.”
- “If people knew who I really was they wouldn’t want to be around me”
- “I’m such a loser. I’m never going to make money at this business”
Do you have clear self-perception?
Where did these thoughts come from? Maybe it was an ill word from your parents or some other important person. Self-criticism can happen so automatically and quickly. Catching these ill-thought and shifting to positive thinking is the key. Do whatever it takes to shift your thoughts: dance, sing, listen to a motivational speaker, do a mental gratitude list. It may seem like a battle at first but it will get easier. Remember, the one thing you can be in control of is your thoughts.
Get accurate in your thinking
Critical thoughts are venomous, cause distraction and keep you in fear for taking your next step. This can be the very time you are about to make a huge breakthrough when working on a project. Recognize it, shift your thinking and move forward. Suffering under the self-critic becomes a choice or unconscious habit. Using a journal can help you see how it is affecting your life. This might be the very moment you have been waiting for in your life and work.
Recognize you are one person, not a team of folks running your business. People that run their own business have a unique way of driving themselves beyond an eight hour day. You can easily tip over the edge of exhaustion and begin not to think clearly. Know your edge and listen to your body.
Self-examinations can be such a helpful tool. Know what make you tick. Discover your strengths and the traits you want to improve on. It’s all too easy to find those not so shiny behaviors to pick on. Always list the qualities you love about yourself, too. These are your truths and strengths, rather than someone else’s version. Guilt and shame related to your past can emerge, and forgiveness is the key.
As you grow personally, so will your life and business. Don’t allow self-criticisms to push you beyond your limits.
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