How can I overcome a self-critical attitude

Too self-critical? Take the test

We ourselves are often our harshest critics. Where others are still merciful to us, we know no grace and tear ourselves apart. Hand on heart: Are you one of them? Are you too too self-critical with yourself? Or to put it another way: can you criticize yourself fairly and constructively? Many cannot do this and tend to exaggerate their own weaknesses and mistakes and torment themselves for them. Self-destructive! Exaggerated self-criticism is not just an indication of weak self-esteem. Anyone who regularly goes too hard with himself will damage his soul and his success in the long term. What is behind self-critical thoughts - and whether you belong to this group: Our short self-test provides clarity ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Too Self-Critical: The Consequences of False Self-Criticism

First of all: The ability to think critically is first of all a strength and extremely important. Only those who reflect on their own actions, recognize mistakes and weaknesses and learn from them for the future can develop further.

Lack of self-criticism and self-reflection on the other hand lead to Standstill.

According to Paracelsus, however, the following also applies here: The dose makes the poison.

Without self-critical behavior there is no development, but too much of it blocks it as well. On top of that, it makes you unhappy and bitter. If you are too self-critical with yourself, you will soon be out of it Self-doubt tormented and do not dare to do anything anymore. Even more: a species is created Downward spiral of mistakes, self-fulfilling prophecy and failure.

Those affected then no longer feel good enough - no matter for what. You can from your own perspective not keep up with any comparison, fall into feelings of inferiority or even depression.

Be successful or achieve goals?

Those who are too self-critical can usually say goodbye to it. Such people feel that they are inadequate and useless, have no skills to speak of, or are generally on the dark side of life. In short: you talk badly until you really are.

Or they avoid challenges so as not to make mistakes (which would only confirm the negative self-image). The greater and more destructive the self-criticism, the weaker the self-esteem.

In order to break out of this destructive cycle and to change something, however, we must first recognize that we are actually too self-critical. Critical comments from outside are not necessarily an affirmation of our own inability or an attack on our self-esteem. They can also be an opportunity for correction. And with it an opportunity to grow and better utilize our potential ...

Women are often too self-critical

Basically everyone can be too self-critical. However, studies show that above all Women too self-critical are. You regularly underestimated your own strengths and skills, especially in your professional life.

In the underlying experiments, the environment perceived the abilities of women much more strongly and more positively than they did themselves. The men, on the other hand, fell off the saddle: They tended to overestimate themselves.

Both ways of thinking are one wrong self-perception owed. In comparison, the attitude of women has a much more harmful effect on them in the professional world: while colleagues appear self-confident, emphasize their own strengths and abilities and put them in the foreground, many women appear too modest (or even too self-critical) when it does is about their competencies - and are being booted out by the men.

However, there are opportunities here again: Women in particular can benefit enormously from reflecting on an overly self-critical attitude and taking part healthy measure lead back.

Self-test: Are you too self-critical?

Granted, it's not easy to break the line between appropriate self-criticism and Self-tearing to pull. The way in which self-criticism is exercised is also decisive. In other words, in the form of constructive or destructive criticism.

As long as you think analytically and benevolently about your weaknesses and do not neglect your strengths, there is little objection to this. But as soon as you start putting yourself down, you've crossed the line. Nobody benefits from that anymore. On the contrary: you harm yourself - sustainably.

So we have another one here short self-test that can help you figure out if you might be overly critical of yourself.

A first indication can be how you came across this article and self-test: Have you searched the internet for it because you already suspect that your critical behavior is not doing you any good yourself? Then you should definitely take the test.

Our self-test has no scientific claim. However, it can help you with your self-perception and improve it. Please take a few minutes to read the following 10 questions for yourself - honestly - to answer. Please do not try to falsify the result in order to look better in front of yourself. That won't get you anywhere.

For the test, please make a note of which answers (A, B, C) apply to you. In the end, these are decisive for the resolution of the self-test. And let's go ...

1. Question: How do you react to praise and compliments?

  • I am pleased that someone has correctly recognized my assets and abilities and thank you with a smile. (A)
  • I am insecure and don't think the other person is serious. Why should I get a compliment? (B)
  • I think it's very nice when the praise is justified in my opinion. (C)

2. Question: Do you know your greatest strengths?

  • I can think of one or two, but I could certainly still work on some of them. (C)
  • But of course, everyone should. Above all my self-confidence distinguishes me, but also my spontaneity, my patience and my assertiveness ... (A)
  • Strengthen? Not so straight away. I would have to think about that first. (B)

3. Question: What do you eat when you have dinner with friends?

  • Even if I haven't eaten all day, I leave it with a small side dish or a salad to be on the safe side. (B)
  • I pay attention to what the others are ordering. When everyone takes just a little something, I adapt. (C)
  • Always what I'm hungry for right now. (A)

4. Question: How do you feel when you see a photo of yourself?

  • If the photos are beautiful, I like to look at them. I like myself in most of the pictures. (C)
  • I love photos of myself and actually take selfies all the time, which I then post right away. (A)
  • If possible, I don't even look at pictures of myself. I always look really cruel on that. (B)

5th question: You have an idea for better processes in your job. Do you propose it to your boss?

  • I look at my concept again or talk to a colleague, but then I present what I have thought to the boss. (C)
  • First of all, of course not. Who knows if the idea is really worth it. I prefer to wait first. (B)
  • But immediately! Why waste time when the optimized processes could be implemented in a few days? (A)

6. Question: What do you think when you apply for a new job?

  • I know exactly what I can do and why I am exactly right for the job. If one recruiter doesn't recognize that, then the next one. (A)
  • Of course there are many applicants, but if I make good use of my qualifications and experience, my chances are pretty good. (C)
  • Unfortunately, the competition in the application is always very big and highly qualified. That will not be easy. (B)

7. Question: Put yourself in the shoes of your colleagues: What do they envy you for?

  • My office neighbor once said that she thinks it's great that I always help her with tasks and take on projects. (B)
  • I hope that they appreciate my motivation and professional competence - and my friendly manner. These are the things that I particularly like myself. (C)
  • Above all, that should be my professional success and my confident dealings with important customers and management. (A)

8. Question: You are watching a conversation in private. What is the first thing that goes through your head?

  • I really don't worry about that. If it's about me, they'll tell me. (A)
  • They're probably talking about me. I've had the feeling that something is wrong all day. (B)
  • You start to wonder whether someone might be blasphemed. But even if: You can't please everyone. (C)

9. Question: You have made a stupid mishap. How do you deal with that?

  • I'm a little annoyed with myself. Actually, I'm used to better things of myself. (C)
  • Oh, this has happened to everyone before. No big deal. (A)
  • It's just so typical of me. I just can't do anything right. Hopefully the others will accept my apology. (B)

10. Question: How do you react to criticism from others?

  • I take the statements very much to heart and feel confirmed in my own doubts. (B)
  • I look at the criticism, analyze what has been said and consider whether I can use something of it for myself personally. (C)
  • That usually leaves me cold. Often it is just envy or a bad mood that speaks to others. (A)

Continue to dissolution ...

Too self-critical? Resolution to the self-test

When you sign up for Answer a once you've decided, you don't need to worry about being overly self-critical at all. Quite the opposite. You seem to be bubbling over with confidence and are firmly convinced of yourself and your abilities. Every now and then, a little more self-criticism wouldn't hurt you in order to remain open to positive changes and developments.

Have a majority for Answer C decided, you have a good average of self-criticism. You can be critical of yourself, but do not overdo it and also know what you are good at and that there is no reason to put your own light under a bushel.

In any case, you are too self-critical if you answer most of the questions Answer B have chosen. You make yourself bad for no reason, you are destructive towards yourself and you fail to recognize your advantages, merits and competencies. Be fair to yourself and realize that you can do a lot more than you admit to yourself.

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20th August 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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