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Home Self-criticism


Self-criticism arises from a lack of self-respect, and a failure to acknowledge your own self-worth. As a normal human being, you possess both strengths and weaknesses. To dwell upon only your weaknesses is not empowering. If you will just accept, trust and believe in yourself despite your personal weaknesses, you will be free from self-criticism.

By being excessively self-critical, you are deprived of the level of self-confidence which is rightfully yours to live the kind of life you deserve. You are likely to treat yourself well if you can only look realistically at the abilities, skills and the many talents that are inherent in you. Everyone has them. You fail to appreciate the qualities you have because you are unaware of their existence or you underrate them. It is only when you receive praise and approval from other people that you begin to realize you have your own qualities. Awareness of them has to come from within you and is not dependent on outside sources.

There are times when self-criticism is a good choice. This is when you have made a mistake. Knowing that you will be criticized for it, the priority step is to self-criticize before somebody else does the criticizing. It’s more tolerable to accept self-criticism than to accept criticism from someone else. Besides, criticizing own self makes the other person less critical and more forgiving.

Can self-criticism be justified as an effective way of improving oneself? To say ‘yes’ is to be ready to admit one has made a mistake. Not many people are prepared to admit their errors, even to themselves. Why is it so hard to admit one’s mistakes? It requires tremendous courage to do that, so obviously not many people have that kind of courage. Being able to admit one’s mistakes and self-criticize constructively makes for a better being.

However, in criticizing one own self, extreme caution has to be exercised that it is not destructive self-criticism. One’s own self-esteem and self-confidence would be adversely affected. Destructive self-criticism is caused by feelings of guilt. As long as the guilt cannot be removed, one must no matter what try to cease self-criticism completely as it tends to be destructive. One way of doing this is to do good for others. This helps to ease one's guilt and of course, never allow destructive criticisms from anybody.