A lot of people beat themselves up. They self-judge. When you know what you should be doing, and you do not do what you’re supposed to do, you allow your inner voice to make you feel like shit.
Your mean inner voice comes from your childhood. The way your friends and family treated you growing up, is likely how you treat yourself. This is a problem. If you don’t shape your inner critic to be an ally, it will beat you down until you are so apathetic and nihilistic that you cannot produce action. So, take control.
If you’re telling yourself things like “I’m worthless”, you’re doing it wrong.
Repeated self-criticism when you just label yourself worthless and horrible will literally make you worthless and horrible. You need to use that inner drive to push you AWAY from being what you don’t want to be, so don’t make the mistake of labeling yourself as something undesirable. Instead, when you do something wrong, or you don’t live up to your own standards, you should feel as if you’re your own father judging you. Instead of saying “I’m worthless,” say “I should not be making this mistake.” Instead of saying “I hate myself for this”, say, “I know I have the potential to do better, so I will try again.”
Too many people are trying to get rid of their self-critic. That’s foolish. Your self-critic, I believe, is a biological mechanism that drives you toward achievement, but I think that as society has evolved, this mechanism can be either too harsh or too labeling at times. What you need to do, is to not let your self-critic label you as anything bad or undesirable. Instead, you should shape the voice of your inner critic to say things that are constructive, responsible, and action oriented.
For example, let’s say you are trying to start working out consistently. You went to the gym for a month, things were going well, but then you took a month off. Some self-help gurus would tell you to just blindly accept yourself and to go back in the gym, but with this approach, you may get caught in a loop of too much self-acceptance. If you are in a place that you don’t want to be, e.g., not working out for a month, you should use your inner voice to ignite a deep desire within you to attack your goal. It’s okay to feel angry at the fact that you just wasted a month. Use that anger. Turn it into progress. However, it’s not okay to let that anger push you into self-hatred. That will make you stagnate. If you also just tell yourself that its okay to not do the things you want to do, you will begin to become lazy, you will trust yourself less, and you will find it hard to take action. You need to find the perfect balance between self-anger and self-acceptance, so that you don’t become lazy, or apathetic.
Thank you for reading, and I hope this reshaped the way you approach self-criticism. Remember not to beat yourself up, but it’s okay to feel anger at your current situation, and to use that anger to make progress. As long as you’re not lashing out that anger unto others.