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20 Signs You Are Overly-Critical of Yourself

Overly-criticizing myself dramatically affects my self-confidence and causes me to think poorly of yourself – and others. It sways my thoughts to be even more cynical, which eventually prevents me from enjoying the things that once brought me pleasure.

Self-criticism is an automatic thought (sometimes at an unconscious level) that creates negative feelings, which eventually leads to behaviors that cause major problems in my relationships. I became so good at criticizing ‘me’ that doing it to others was an easy habit to engage in. I have to stop and notice what I’m thinking on a regular basis, or my negative/automatic thoughts take over quickly (usually within 5 seconds or so).

Are you overly-critical of yourself? In case you need a reality check, here are 20 ways to know if you're constantly sabotaging yourself:
  1. At some level, you believe that you deserve negative situations (e.g., getting fired, having your lover leave you).
  2. Compliments are hard to take (because you don’t believe them); when someone compliments you, it usually sounds ridiculous. 
  3. Nothing is good enough for you.
  4. There are few things you truly enjoy in life.
  5. You always second-guess yourself (e.g., "Did I do that right?”).
  6. You are fully aware of your own perceived flaws (and those of others).
  7. You are your own worst enemy.
  8. You complain a lot, and you often voice these thoughts and opinions to your friends and family.
  9. You focus a lot on what's going wrong – and minimize or over-look the things that are going right.
  10. You get the sense that some of your friends and family avoid you. 
  11. You have a very low level of frustration-tolerance (i.e., little things really set you off).
  12. You have been accused of being a pessimist.
  13. You look at the world from a place of scarcity.
  14. You pick others apart.
  15. You pick yourself apart.
  16. You take life too seriously. 
  17. You take others’ behavior too personally.
  18. You truly don’t trust yourself. 
  19. You usually look for the worst in others and automatically expect that things won’t turn out the way you would like.
  20. Your relationships suffer from constant complaining and negativity.

As one young man with Asperger's stated, "On a scale of one to ten, when I beat up on myself at a level ten, I feel justified in beating up on others at a level eight or nine."

When I’m overly-critical of myself and others, I allow myself to operate in a negative mental environment. If you find yourself thinking a lot of these signs, start to change your “thought-habits.”

As soon as one of these signs pop in your head, quickly replace it – WITHIN 5 SECONDS – with a more positive thought (e.g., “There I go again. Beating up on myself. I’m my own worst enemy. It’s my responsibility to begin to love myself and come to believe that I am worthy of good things in life!).


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