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Deal with Being Self-Critical

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by asomeck, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. asomeck

    asomeck New Member

    When I feel self critical and compare myself to others, coming out on the losing end, I try to look at what I am feeling more objectively. Are they really better than me.? What within me needs to devalue myself, has a stake in me feeling bad about myself? I have a model of my inner self as a bus, with all the different parts of me as passengers who all want to drive “my bus”. There can only be one driver at a time. I try to isolate that passenger on my bus who drives me to feel self-critical and get them out of the driver’s seat. I look to realize that that aspect of myself is only a very small part of who I am. Sometimes I just allow that negative feeling some space to play itself out, take a short drive, almost encouraging it and cheering it on so that it runs out of steam. The key for me is not to become fully identified with that part of me, not to give over complete power and have it overwhelm me. Just being aware is the first step towards that separation. Knowing my patterns also helps. “This too shall pass” is a great mantra for me, knowing that over time, that which seems true and absolute will dissolve as just another momentary self-critical judgment that can’t hold on forever even if in the moment it may feel that way.
  2. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    All good points. The bigger question is "why" do we want to feel better about ourselves. "Why" do we have to measure up? "Why" have we repressed certain aspects of ourselves, not what is repressed. The answer keeps coming back to us, we were made to feel that way, by family and society. But the only opinion that matters is what you think of yourself. And there's the problem. People who feel good about themselves are rarely in pain.

    The varying bus drivers you mentioned are the divided mind in conflict. You're doing the right thing by not attaching any meaning to it. There can be no anger if we don't hold onto anything that stings the ego. The TMS comes from hanging on too tightly to the past.

    You can't hold on if you let go.

  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Asomeck. Steve, that great guy and caring healer, gives good insight into why we can not feel better about ourselves.
    Maybe it's because we really don't know if other people are better than we are. They just appear to be. Maybe they're
    fooling us, and themselves as well.

    I think it better to try to know ourselves and I believe we come up as being better people than we may have thought.

    And your mantra "This too shall pass" is a great one. I keep that in mind when problems and stress arise.
    My mother had a variation on it that I also keep in mind.
    We never had a home laundry washer and dryer when I was a boy in the 1930s and 1940s. We washed our clothes
    in the bathtub with a washboard and bar soap. Then we hung them to dry on a clothesline strung back and forth
    in the kitchen during winter. In summer the clothes hung on a line out the window that was hooked to the next
    building. When we had a big load of dirty clothes we had them washed clean by a laundry service and then hung
    the "wet wash" on the clothes line in the kitchen or the line between our apartment and the one next door.

    When we had any problems of any sort, Mom would say, "It'll all come out in the wash." It helped to think that
    so the problems didn't worry us, at least not as much.

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