When Your Inner Critic Keeps You From Happiness

When Your Inner Critic Keeps You From Happiness

How often have you allowed stress to affect your happiness by placing unrealistic demands on yourself resulting in negative self-talk? Does this sound like you? I used to fall victim to this exact practice regularly and, at times, I still succumb to negativity and destructive behaviors that prevent me from achieving everything I am capable of.

Here’s the reality. We all have certain strengths and weaknesses, but when we stop focusing on the strengths and start to have unrealistic expectations from the weaknesses, we are destined to fail before even getting started.

For instance, I like to juggle many things at once. My brain has always been wired that way and I have always been really good at managing a lot of balls in the air at one time. However, while my strength is in getting those balls in the air, my weakness is following through on the details of each ball.

I find that my own personal pursuit of happiness is affected when I begin to have high and unrealistic expectations around things I don’t do well – like managing all those details.

To offer an example, many people can agree that a full inbox can often times be a destroyer of happiness and a significant contributor to stress in life. My inbox keeps getting longer the more time I spend trying to perfect my responses. The longer my inbox got, the more stress in my life grew, and the louder my negative self-talk became. As a result, I was locked into a vicious cycle of constantly struggling with a very distorted image of myself.

These negative thoughts can often be traced back to childhood. I learned this thinking pattern as a child who was constantly verbally and emotionally abused. The more time my father spent screaming at me the worse my own self-image became. I began to falsely believe that happiness was something that can be given and taken away. The regular abuse was a stressor that kept me focused on my weaknesses rather than my strengths.

Growing up, this tendency made it very difficult for me to acknowledge my own accomplishments. In grade school, as I received honors for my grades, I began to shy further away from the spotlight. I learned a behavior that said if I got straight A’s I will be required to go in front of the class, so I better stop getting straight A’s.

Similar to my inbox, my relationship with my father put me into a position where happiness felt like it could be taken away. The longer my inbox, the more negative attention I would get from clients and it would, in turn, validate the failures in my life.

In the end, the greatest gift I could have given myself as a child was to learn that happiness is a choice and that focusing on my strengths and accepting my weaknesses would have been the best self-care practice I could have engaged in.

I have learned through the practice of mindfulness, gratitude, and spirituality a new path to maximizing my own awareness and happiness. I have started putting negative voices in my mind to bed and learning to accept and focus on my strengths. Now when my emails are getting out of control, I simply respond or archive. I’m taking small steps to executing my goals, such as focusing on simply reducing the size of my inbox to as few emails as possible. Allowing things to linger for weeks while you await the perfect response is not healthy. Just like with many things in life, clearing those old messages is one of the healthiest things you can teach yourself to do.


About the Author: Michael Weinberger

Michael WeinbergerMichael Weinberger is a dynamic and inspiring speaker frequently asked to speak on topics including Mindfulness, Coping with Mental Illness, and Addiction. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1994 and has learned how to not only cope, but to thrive while living with his illness. Michael teaches individuals how to adjust their mindset to be mindful and grateful for everything in their life. Michael is the founder and creator of A Plan For Living, a digital mindfulness manager and wellness platform. Everyone has problems and Michael’s approach helps people apply gratitude, spirituality and mindfulness to their daily lives.

[irp posts=”1810″ name=”How to Be Mindfully Self-ish – And Why It’s SO Important.”]

4 Comments

jan

Thank you for your insights. My story shares many similarities with yours. I have been battling since I was a teenager. I am now 60 & and I am realizing that I create much of my sense of failure by expecting far too much from myself. I,too, was always able to juggle a lot of balls but I am setting myself up for a crash every time I don’t succeed. Things like following an exercise or healthy eating program are very difficult to adhere to as my moods bounce so much. I practice mindfulness, take my meds, go to mental health support programs but I keep falling back into pattern of not able to maintain consistency. Your article was helpful.
I am not the same person I was several years ago and it is time to embrace who I am now.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our newsletter

We would love you to follow us on Social Media to stay up to date with the latest Hey Sigmund news and upcoming events.

Follow Hey Sigmund on Instagram

I LOVE being able to work with early childhood centres and schools. The most meaningful, enduring moments of growth and healing happen on those everyday moments kids have with their everyday adults - parents, carers, teachers. It takes a village doesn’t it.♥️
Thank you @lori.desautels!💕

“An amazing new children’s book by @karenyoung_heysigmund -  arrived this past week and I’m obsessed! Explores Polyvagal states in the most fabulous and understandable ways! Going to read to my 5th grade class today! Thank you Karen!! #childrensbooks #students #Ieducators #education”
Sydney! We’re coming to you. The Resilient Kids Conference is a one day event for parents and professionals who live and work with kids and teens. 

Can’t make it? There’s now an ONLINE option so you can watch from anywhere in the world, with the recording available for 4 weeks after the conference. 

I’ll be talking about anxiety in young people, but this information is relevant for ALL OF US. We need to  change the way we think about anxiety and respond to it - so let’s talk about how. I’ll give you practical, meaningful ways to support and strengthen your kids and teens with in ways that will serve them not just for now, but for the rest of their lives. 

Two things I know for certain. 1. All kids have it in them to be brave and do the things that feel bigger than them sometimes. 2. Parents and their important adults have the most profound capacity to strengthen kids and teens against anxiety and build their confidence and courage. 

I love these conferences and I know parents walk out feeling excited and empowered. 

Since 2016, the Resilient Kids Conferences have attracted up to 800 attendees at a single event. It is beyond beautiful to see parents, educators, and many other professionals stream through the doors in anticipation of a soul fulfilling experience. By the end of the day their faces are beaming, and so is our teams. It’s a community of people, redefining resilience together.

I’ll be joining Maggie Dent, Michelle Mitchell, and Dr Justin Coulson. In person, online and group license tickets are available for this event.

Tickets (online and live). Link in bio.
When times feel uncertain or your own anxiety feels big, come home to the things that make sense. 

Come home to each other, to stillness, to play, to rest, and conversation. 

Come home to listening more openly and caring more deeply, to nature, and warm baths, and being more deliberate, to fighting for what we can control, and the soft surrender to what we can’t. 

Come home to stories, and music, and to the safety of your tribe. 

Come home to that part of you that is timeless, and strong, and still, and wise, and which knows that, like everything that has ever felt bigger than you for a while, you will get them and you through this.♥️
Separation anxiety can come with a tail whip - not only does it swipe at kids, but it will so often feel brutal for their important adults too.

If your child struggle to separate at school, or if bedtimes tougher than you’d like them to be, or if ‘goodbye’ often come with tears or pleas to stay, or the ‘fun’ from activities or play dates get lost in the anxiety of being away from you, I hear you.

There’s a really good reason for all of these, and none of them have anything to do with your parenting, or your child not being ‘brave enough’. Promise. And I have something for you. 

My 2 hour on-demand separation anxiety webinar is now available for purchase. 

This webinar is full of practical, powerful strategies and information to support your young person to feel safer, calmer, and braver when they are away from you. 

We’ll explore why separation anxiety happens and powerful strategies you can use straight away to support your child. Most importantly, you’ll be strengthening them in ways that serve them not just for now but for the rest of their lives.

Access to the recording will be available for 30 days from the date of purchase.

Link to shop in bio. 

https://www.heysigmund.com/products/separation-anxiety-how-to-build-their-brave/

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This