Joy Ignites Success

Can you love yourself and yet be overly critical of your actions?

By - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This post was inspired by a question from a facebook friend. It's the second in a series of three. Please share your thoughts and ask your questions!

Can you love yourself and yet be overly critical of your actions?


Absolutely! In the same way we can love our children and partners and be overly critical of them, we can love ourselves and still be in the habit of constantly finding fault with ourselves. If you’re tired of being hard on yourself, here are a few ways to play with breaking the habit.

1.    Recognize that it is a habit and begin by bringing awareness to it. Set an intention to watch for all the times you make yourself wrong and just notice it. As best you can, when you catch it, don’t judge yourself (and add insult to injury).
2.    Ask yourself what you get from being hard on yourself. Do you believe that telling yourself that you are lazy will make you work harder? Or that telling yourself you are fat will dissuade you from eating the chocolate cake?
3.    Notice that whatever you are saying to yourself has in all probability not resulted in the desired behavior correction.
4.    Get curious. “Well, that’s not working, I wonder if there’s a better way to achieve the desired outcome?”

5.    Don’t argue with the voice that says you are fat, ugly or stupid. Arguing is resistance and what we resist, persists. Instead, tell the voice “okay, thanks for letting me know” and move on.
6.    Find one area that you are consistently critical of yourself and change just that one interaction. If you never speak up in a room of people and judge yourself for that, change that one experience into something that resonates for you. You might say, “its okay, I get why you’re afraid to speak up”, or “you are smart to listen and digest what others are saying”.
7.    Recognize that the voice that is being hard on you is not really yours. Imagine it being someone else in the room with you and get up and walk away.

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Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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