Do you ever find yourself wishing you could be more like other people you know? Maybe you like the way they look or how confident they always seem. Maybe you wish you could always find the right words to make your point during a meeting or admire the women who don’t feel the need to wear makeup every day.
For many of us, it is much easier to find fault with ourselves than it is to give ourselves credit. We tell ourselves we’re not good enough or pretty enough or smart enough. And that, in my opinion, is one of the biggest mistakes we make that undermines our own happiness.
Without realizing what we’re doing, I believe many of us talk ourselves out of being happy. We use words to describe ourselves that we would never use against other people. We know the words are hurtful, but that doesn’t stop the inner voice that repeats them over and over in our own minds.
So what can you do to stop the hurtful self-criticism? Do the same things for yourself that you do for the people around you.
When you love someone – or even just like them – you find things about them to compliment. If you know they’ve been working on losing weight, you point out how nice they look in a new outfit, even if they haven’t met their goal yet. If they finish a project at work, you applaud their success. And if they try something new, you give them credit for taking a risk even if it doesn’t
quite work out.
You can be your own best critic by applying those same thoughts to yourself. Pay attention to your successes – big or small – and your attempts at new things and compliment your own efforts. Instead of only focusing on your flaws, find things about yourself that you like and remind yourself of them.
I’m not saying you should go around bragging about yourself. But if you are in the habit of putting yourself down in your own head, you are probably doing it out loud in public without even realizing it. You can’t expect others to see your strengths or find you appealing either on the job or in personal relationships if all you do is criticize yourself.