Self-criticism and what to do about it by Dr. Munn Saechao, PsyD, LCSW, MSW, PPSC, online therapist and coach for professional women and child and adolescent therapist in Mountain View, CA.
Our brains are wired to remember negative experiences for survival. When we have salient recollections of things and situations that have caused us harm, we instinctually avoid them in the future. While this instinct historically and presently benefits us, it can also cause us harm.
For example, when I received a glowing recommendation or evaluation in the past, I found myself scanning for areas of growth, hyper focusing on the words, and completely neglecting my strengths (Yes, you see here that I’ve replaced criticism to area of growth). While scrutinizing my flaws allowed me to excel, I often felt terrible because I was striving for perfectionism, which ultimately was an unobtainable goal. In other words, I set myself up to always feel disappointed and feel like a failure. In the end, the only person who was hurting was me.
The good news is, our brains are “plastic” and we can do things in this very moment to counter our unhelpful thought patterns and change our future.
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Webpage: drmunn.com, https://drmunn.com/category/self-care