Many of us are haunted by persistent, self-critical thoughts like, “What makes you think you can do that? You’ll never do it right? What if you fail?” It doesn’t matter whether you have already proved yourself as capable in a particular arena. The inertia generated by self-critical thoughts can leave you paralyzed and unwilling to step forward to act, when you might just as easily be successful and disprove those thoughts.
Self-criticism is often the cause of depression, apathy, immobilization, and a general lack of direction. Have you stopped to think who is doing the criticizing? Who determined that you are not good enough? Who said you never do it right? Who said you are sure to fail? As children, we are influenced variety of caregivers who probably had a sincere desire to nurture and guide us toward adulthood (as they perceived it, of course). They left us with subtle (or not so subtle) messages about our abilities that stuck with us, buried securely in our subconscious. We internalized them as “truths” and our actions have been controlled ever since. However, they were merely personal opinions and our caregivers passed on to us…Next time you become aware of an inner self-critical voice, consider who is speaking and decide if you agree that it is really true.”
Dianne Eppler Adams, in “Conscious Footsteps”
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