Content Warning: self-criticism, self-esteem, negative self-talk, depression, anxiety
Self-criticism mostly comes from pressure in school, work, and from family obligations. It also stems from trying a new hobby. For example, even though you study for this exam, you tell yourself that you probably won’t pass it. Or, if you try this new sport, you will not be good at it. You talk yourself out of it. It affects your self-esteem.
However, there is a difference between self-criticism and constructive criticism. When I was younger, every time I received an ounce of criticism from my parents, I would go into a self-destructive mood and shut myself out. I would keep telling myself that I wasn’t good enough. I would feel like a failure. I would go into a dark place. I would become depressed. I took it to heart. I made it part of me. Part of my identity. I didn’t even talk to my parents or my family. Maybe if I had talked to my parents, I would have known the difference. Sometimes self-criticism can get you to reflect and try to see if you can improve yourself and become a better version of yourself. I also wrote down how it made me feel. Journalism was my therapy. I replaced “I can’t” to “I can.” Try again. You can do this.
People may have opinions about you, criticizing your actions, making you feel inferior. But don’t become your own enemy. Remember, you are human. You will make mistakes at every turn. Do not let them become labels and prevent you from being the awesome human being that you are. Don’t let every mistake, every criticism that gets thrown at you become part of the identity. And embrace your qualities, the skills that you have. The most important thing is that you must learn from your mistakes and become a better version of yourself. And if you feel that the negative self-talk is taking over, becoming toxic, and preventing you from reaching your goals or even getting out of bed this morning. Make sure to talk to a healthcare professional.