Many of us have watched the Academy Awards, or read movie or T.V. reviews recently. In each example a judgment was placed on such things as value, truth, beauty, effort or technique. These judgments were made by critics – people who express an unfavorable opinion of something. The word critic is actually derived from the Greek word for ‘judge.’ We seem to have an over abundance of critics in life who judge everything. It is any wonder why many of us have taken up this behavior and use it on ourselves and others.
When we look inward and are honest with ourselves we find that we are our own worst critic. It goes something like this…’I should have’ or … ‘I’m not this or that enough’ the list goes on ad infinitum. What we don’t realize is that the more critical and judgmental we are with ourselves the more we are doomed to repeat more of the same. By constantly criticizing ourselves we are replaying the record in our heads of disappointment and dissatisfaction with who were are as human beings. Since we know that the Universe delivers to us what is foremost in our thinking we will continue to repeat the behavior that we find most troublesome but with even greater and greater frequency. Eventually, we may even fall prey to the ultimate negative thought, ‘What’s the use I will always be …’
Is it possible that you may have become emotionally addicted to seeing yourself in a negative light? Check it out by listening to your own thinking. How often are you putting yourself down? Does it seem to come naturally to you? If so, when is enough enough? The answer is quite simple really. When self criticism begins to infect and reflect your overall thinking pattern it’s time for a change. Like everything in life it is the amount of time we allow ourselves to rehash something that determines if it’s a productive or unproductive behavior.
What if you decided today, right here and now, to use self reflection in a more productive way – one that can positively effect your behavior. Start by consciously listening to what you are telling yourself about a recent issue that didn’t turn out as well as you would have preferred. If you are beating yourself up over the outcome, is it helping? Probably not. Once you accept the fact that negative breeds negative you are ready to redirect your thinking. Now think about what you could have done to achieve a more productive outcome. Each time you start to put yourself down about either what actually happened or what you ‘should’ have done just think about what would have been a better approach and say to yourself, ‘THE NEXT TIME I INTEND TO …’ and LET IT GO. What you are actually doing is giving your subconscious mind a job or goal to work on. The next time a similar issue surfaces your mind will work to apply the new response. We know that setting goals generates positive energy and when we tell ourselves, ‘The next time I intend to…’ our minds work to deliver the change to us. This approach may take a bit of time to internalize but by consistently practicing this type of redirected thought you are inserting into your thinking a plan to improve something about your self WITHOUT JUDGMENT. It becomes a positive rather than a negative approach for change – and it works!
Life is a journey of self discovery. Like any journey we can’t start at the end but must take each step along the way to arrive at our destination. When we discover a better path to our destination it behooves us to follow it. Redirecting our thoughts with a new habit of positive intent just makes the journey a lot more enjoyable along the way.
Have a great few days!