Self Criticism – Is it Serving You?

July 4, 2013 in Self Love by Jill

Be careful how you are tlaking to yourself because you are listening

As we travel around Australia I pick up nursing contracts at the local hospitals to assist funding our adventures. At the moment I am working full time, and Sunday we had an extremely busy shift with plenty of acute patients – from possible spinal injuries, a baby having a fall, to a dislocated shoulder, to a tree stuck in a patients hand and lots more….

The next day two other nurses and I were discussing the day before, and one of the nurses whom was not working asked the question, “Did you walk away at the end of the day saying to yourself I had a great day and did a good job?” The question definitely made me stop and think. Did I say to myself “well done”, “you did this right”, and “I feel great”? Truth is I didn’t. The thoughts that raced through my brain consisted of “did I do …?” or “I should have done…” and “I did that wrong…”

Beyond work, this question really stuck with me. Do I give myself ample positive feedback or am I mostly always giving myself negative criticism? I have been told multiple times during my life I am too hard on myself, but I have never truly grasped what people meant when they said that. In my own goal-orientated mind I am seeking to improve, so I was never aware of my negative self-criticism, as it seemed the only way to achieve goals. But the truth is I can see now, it has never ever worked.

I reflect on my umpiring days where I used to beat myself up over wrong decisions made. This type of self-talk only made me feel like a failure and eventually leading me hating umpiring and quitting.  I rarely appraised or congratulated myself on my achievements from umpiring grand finals, getting a National A, B & C badges and to umpiring at Under 15s & 17/19’s championships.  In hindsight, these were huge achievements and deserved self-praise. Yes, I received congratulations from others, but I never truly believed it.

And there are other examples in my life (and I am sure in others too) where the following phrases are used. These common phrases do not have any love about them.

  • I don’t like …
  • I am not ….
  • I don’t deserve …
  • I should …
  • I will fail.

So, thank you to the nurse who made me realise that I do not nourish myself with enough positive feedback. I now know it does not radiate any self-loveFor the next two weeks I am going to speak kind and loving words to and of myself. I am going to continue to look myself in the mirror every morning and say “I love you” and in the evenings I am going to write 5 positive things about myself.