Do you find that you're always criticizing and putting yourself down? Do you only see the bad qualities in yourself, never the good? If you answered yes to these questions, then you, like most people, are prone to self-criticism. We can be very judgmental when it comes to our own faults and shortcomings. Constantly thinking of ourselves as "not good enough" or stupid, can be detrimental to our health and livelihood. Negativity drains our energy as we continually try to live up to our own high standards of perfectionism while beating ourselves down at the same time. That's not to say a certain amount of introspection isn't good. If we never looked at ourselves to see what needs improvement, we would never grow or become better. There's always room for improvement. However, we don't want to be so critical that we condemn ourselves and sabotage our own success. To Stop Your "Self-Critic," We First Need to Identify The 3 Cause & Effects The following causes of self-criticism effect our self-esteem and negatively impact our livelihood... 1. Setting unrealistic demands of perfection. We all strive to meet goals in life. But when we set our aspirations so high- expecting nothing short of perfection, we set ourselves up for failure. When we fail or fall short of perfection, we blame ourselves and continue to judge ourselves as "not good enough," and believe that we're "failures," which drains us of precious time and energy as we desperately try to attain the illusion of perfection, when there really is no such thing. 2. Comparing ourselves to other people. We may compare ourselves to other people and conclude that they're better and we don't measure up. Because we focus on our own shortcomings so intimately, we compare ourselves to people based on what we see of their external successes; despite the fact that most "successful" people are painfully insecure themselves. Even the most successful people have shortcomings we can't see. We can't compare the worse we see in ourselves with the best we see in others. If we compare ourselves to others based on limited information, we perpetuate the never-ending cycle of self-inflicted misery, inadvertently skewing our perceptions of ourselves towards the infamous, yet ever so damaging, "not good enough" self-critic. We start identifying with our problems, seeing ourselves as the problem, instead of objectively viewing problems as separate from our identity and as temporary situations with fixable solutions. 3. Not making room for growth. Life is a journey. We have to take it one step at a time. We can't expect perfection and know it all when we're still in the process of creating our "story." Like an unfinished book, we wouldn't critique it and point out all it's flaws until we've read the final chapter- as the best is still yet to come. The danger in expecting perfection from ourselves is that as fallible humans, we're prone to be imperfect and make mistakes. And when the mistakes happen and we fall short of our expectations, we set ourselves up for failure, adopt the "Why even try attitude?" and give up on ourselves, believing that each failure is just another example of how unworthy we really are.