13 Mar If there was an award for being the most self-critical, would that go to you?
Being self-critical is one hobby that we unconsciously pick up and become really good at in no time – all in the pursuit of self-improvement. However, it doesn’t really help us achieve that purpose quite as well as we had imagined.
One might wonder then, how does one change if we don’t find our own flaws and faults. Great question! Yes! It is important to know one’s strengths and opportunities – but not in a way that impedes our confidence and our ability to pursue life in full potential. The knowledge of where we went wrong, and what we can do better is helpful only so long as we actively pursue learning for ourselves. Not if we use it to limit our very own self.
Did you know that constantly scolding yourself gives you the permission to continue being at your less than optimal state in the long run? You read that right! We just get better at being bad if we continuously pull ourselves down. So don’t get into a competition of scolding yourself or telling yourself that you are unable to do this, you can’t help yourself, you aren’t confident, you are a mess, you don’t know to communicate etc. because the more you tell yourself that, the more you are giving yourself the unconscious permission to be just that. It’s like declaring to yourself and the world that you have some terminal illness that is beyond cure. Obviously then, dying is the most natural expectation that others and yourself will have of you. Where’s the question then of life, hope, and of getting better?
If you want to really help yourself, “Catch yourself to coach yourself. Not to criticise yourself.” (Source: Just Open)
At times, people give up without even exploring, or trying the alternatives. They are so used to living with themselves the way they are, that they’d rather die criticising than challenge themselves to be any different. It’s a far more deadlier virus than anything we have witnessed. We have such low expectations of ourselves and we repeatedly tell ourselves, “I have been this way. It is tough to change. I tried but I couldn’t. I am like this. You don’t know my past. It is easier said than done.” And so on and so forth. The nature of these sentences is such that it prevents your mind from conceiving/considering any possibilities of challenging yourself to learn. Your mind resigns to the fact that ‘the Master doesn’t want to change. So let us just continue this way.’
No one is interested in knowing how well you can scold yourself. It would be inspiring to see how committed you are to change yourself.
Give a reason for your mind to feel challenged and not resign. Don’t take succumbing to your fears as the only alternative to life. Challenge yourself to question your limiting beliefs about yourself. Challenge yourself to change. You may have been short-tempered, you may have been lazy, you may have been whatever else so far. But you don’t have to continue to be that way forever. Don’t give up on yourself. You aren’t a victim of yourself, or of life. You can become a survivor this very minute if you only challenge yourself healthily. And life won’t change for the better unless we commit to changing ourselves for the better. We were not born with these prejudices and criticisms. We can change anything that we weren’t born with and quite some things that we were born with too. Doesn’t matter who started this game of criticising. You can change it or end it for yourself. Don’t make a pathetic excuse of life, when you can be a precious example of it. Find the conviction to rise in front of your own eyes! For those who are convinced that they can change, courage will naturally follow.
Why bother loving others, or believing in others, when we can’t for our own selves?
We are not stuck because of lack of courage. Rather, we are stuck because of a lack of conviction. Some are more convinced, and hence more courageous.
You are anyways thinking. Which means, you can think. Hence, think you can!
It’s your choice whether you wish to line up an ambulance fearing you’ll fall. Or line up an award believing that you’ll rise!
(For the other kind, who mostly believe the world is at fault and they deserve more sympathy/ recognition/ attention/ love/ care, this one’s not for you.) Eventually, both beliefs – the word is right and I am wrong, or, I am right and the world is wrong – are lopsided perspectives. Always remember there’s no smoke without fire. Our world is a response to what we are thinking and being mostly. So every situation is an opportunity for us to be better, smarter, wiser in some way. Just remove the guilts and the blames – and we shall be along on our journey just fine!
We don’t deserve better! We get better!
Those who think they deserve better, stay where they are feeling bitter. Those who challenge themselves to get better, get ahead feeling better.
If you think it is bad that some people have low expectations of us, it’s worse still to think of living down to those.