It has always been said that we are harder on ourselves than to other people. Being so, it can be easy to beat ourselves up and really cut down our self esteem. Negative thoughts can range from worrying about our physical looks or a fear that we will not perform to our best ability on a variety of tasks that we face on a day to day basis. It is important that the thoughts you let run through your mind are positive ones, even if they do come when you need a little kick in the butt. Here are some ways to make sure the criticism you are giving yourself is constructive.
Feed yourself a compliment sandwich. When you have really screwed up, it isn’t worth your time to focus solely on the negative aspects of your mistake. Instead, cushion the mistake with compliments or positive aspects of what you’ve learned from your mistake. Leave yourself feeling better by ending with a positive outlook and a new way to approach a similar situation. Dale Carnegie once said: “Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.”
Ask questions of yourself and actually listen to your own responses. The best way to get clear answers of your confusing situation is to ask questions. Why do you have a certain emotion? Why did your expected outcome not happen? What could have been done differently to improve the outcome? Reflecting back on yourself, who you are, what you morals are, and the situation as a whole will ultimately give you confidence when faced with other adverse situations.
Don’t kid yourself. Be real with yourself when you make a mistake. Fess up and take responsibility for your actions. Relax and realize that you are human and make mistakes. Don’t try to dumb down what happened and in the reverse, over exaggerate the situation. By doing this, you will only make yourself feel worse about yourself, making it harder to overcome your slip-up. When you have take responsibility, get out and do something. Having motivation to change your outlook or the path you are headed on will give you faith in yourself and in what you are capable of.
The bottom line of giving yourself constructive criticism is to consciously not be too hard on yourself. When you are actively taking responsibility of your actions and your thoughts, you are already on your way to performing better on a day to day basis.
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