Do You Criticize Yourself Too Much?

Published on December 18, 2010 by

Try This Instead

Would you like to change a behavior or to improve your life in some way?

Maybe earn more money, lose weight or really enjoy your relationship with your significant other?

Whatever you want in your life, here's a secret to getting it:

When you think about yourself or about what you've done or what you want to do...

Remember who you're talking to.

And when you're talking to yourself (which is all the time!) remember to...

Be generous, kind and respectful to yourself.

Tell yourself that you are a smart, caring and deserving person.

Tell yourself you have a lot to offer the world.

Think about it. How often do you hear that from others? How often did you hear that growing up?

If you're not reminding yourself of the kind of person you are (in a good way), then how often do you hear it.

Now, let me ask you this: How often do you criticize yourself in some way?

Even in a small way, as if there was such a thing when it comes to criticism.

Too many people try to "criticize their way to better performance and results."

It doesn't work. I know, I tried it for a long time.

Look at it this way. Would you want to work for a boss that gave you way more negative feedback than positive feedback? I didn't think so.

Now, imagine walking into a company and seeing this sign on a wall:

To all employees:

The beatings will stop as soon as morale improves.
Thank you for your help in this matter.

I laughed when I saw that in an article by Alan Weiss, Ph.D.

But that's the way a lot of companies operate.

And a lot of individuals.

It's like they are telling themselves, "I'll quit criticizing myself...when I do better."

The problem with that (and it's a big problem) is the subconscious takes the criticism as your instruction to be and do what you're criticizing.

If you say to yourself " Quit being lazy. The problem is I'm just not disciplined, it's no wonder I'm not make more money," what do you think will happen?

Not better performance or changed behavior, that's for sure.

We can't criticize ourselves into better performance.

Some people think they can motivate themselves with criticism. But that's like the temporary boost of eating a lot of sugar or drinking a lot of coffee to get you going. How long does that last?

And how long before the big crash happens?

The fact is, criticism doesn't work. It eats away at your self-respect, self-esteem and your sense of self-worth.

Here's my challenge to you: Pay attention to your self-talk. When you catch yourself getting down on yourself, offer yourself support instead. Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend, someone you respect and really, really, really believe in.

Believe in yourself and your worth...and talk to yourself from that perspective.

It will work magic.


  1. Sally

    I am always giving myself a hard time and knocking myself down with criticism, I have barely any self worth or self confidence, a friend of mine asked me to write a list of my achievements which I found hard at first, now though I try to think of them when I'm knocking myself down, your words have also helped and have made me rethink thank you

    • Alan Allard

      Sally, I'm happy I have been able to help you and I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. If you haven't read my book Seven Secrets to Enlightened Happiness: Your Guide to the Life You Were Meant to Live, I encourage you to do so: ...Happiness is a skill that can be learned and one of the critical skills is self-talk--you'll find an entire chapter on how to master your self-talk in my book. Let me know how things progress for you as you move forward.

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