The most common hindrance for freedom, inner peace, creativity, connection, love, productivity, space etc is self criticism. I see it again and again in my clients and self criticism dragged me down for many years. But not anymore.
I believe that self criticism is best cured by empathic understanding of the needs behind the judgement.
Early in life, we needed safety. Maybe it was more safe to judge our selves as wrong in some way than to see that our caregivers weren’t able to meet our emotional needs. Maybe thinking of ourselves as wrong in some way was a way to get the need for safety met, because if the problem was our caregiver’s lack of capacity to provide us with that on an emotional level, that would have felt too unsafe.
Maybe we instead try to compensate for these flaws we think we have, in all sorts of ways. By over achieving, by helping everyone but ourselves, by always being right, by being intellectually superficial, by being special, by being loyal and just like everyone else, by only focusing on the positive and avoid pain, by adjusting to others so much that we loos ourselves or similar.
And if we fail, self criticism is a strategy to meet the need for safety.
Or the need for worthiness, value, love, connection, meaning and community.
There’s always a good reason for whatever we do, think or say. There is a need. Even by judging ourselves, we’re just trying to meet an important need. If we can find that need, we can start to provide ourselves with understanding instead of judgement. We connect deep and when we connect to the need, we do no longer need to judge ourselves. We don’t need to “stop” being self critical, we just need to focus on the need and accept whatever need we find.