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Day 9 Self-Criticism

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by readyforthis, Mar 29, 2023.

  1. readyforthis

    readyforthis New Member

    Have you been overly critical of yourself lately? How and why have you done this? You can find a review on recognizing destructive behaviors, such as self-criticism.

    I am extremely self critical, to the point where I find myself calling myself names. This happens to me most often when I play chess.. which seems like it should be a fun hobby. But I find myself calling myself "sooooo stupid" almost every time I lose. I also get so angry at myself for losing, like my ego has taking the biggest blow ever. This is very strange. I started to really focus on the physical sensations that arise when I lose at chess, and I feel the anger and self-hatred pulsating through my chest, my throat tightens up and I feel slightly nauseous. All of this over losing a game of chess! I have played chess for 2 years, and I've improved significantly, but as you get better at chess, you level up and play people at your level. So you always are winning ~50% of your games. Losing is just a part of getting better at chess. But for some reason, I am so self-critical when I lose. It feels like I can't control it. I'm to the point where I don't like to play anymore.

    It's so strange because there's nothing on the line during these games except for "rating points", which are meaningless. But losing a game can put me on such a downward emotional and physical path. I rarely play now adays because I believe it may be exacerbating my TMS..

    I am also self critical when it comes to my work. I work a high-pressure job where I have to communicate out to senior leadership. I have always disliked public speaking, but somehow I've worked my way up through the corporate ladder to the point where public speaking is a pretty large portion of my job. Well it should be, except that over the years, I've had some very bad experiences where I had panic attacks during a presentation, and now I do everything I can to avoid public speaking. I make up excuses for why I can't present, I take days off when large meetings get put on the calendar. I basically avoid it at all costs.. even though it's a big part of my job. And I'm a Director level at this tech company, which means I should be doing A LOT of presenting. But I find a way to either hide or delegate these out. If I'm stuck having to present, I take propanolol (beta blocker) to cover up my shaky voice.. it stops the physical symptoms of anxiety. I am SO self critical about everything I do related to public speaking. I set an impossibly high bar that I can never reach. And the weird thing is.. when I do present, I do well. I get good feedback from my bosses.. they want to get me in front of more people. And I can't stand it! Sometimes I want to just go a different way in my career, but I make good money and have been at my current job for almost 8 years now, so hopping to some other job would make no sense.. likely because my responsibilities will be exactly the same as they are at my current job.

    I hated my job SO much that I began saving aggressively for retirement around 8 years ago.. and I've done such a solid job investing and saving, that I reached my net worth goal for early retirement over a year ago.. but I'm only 38.. so I'm just continuing to push my goal out more and more.. in essence never quitting even though I feel it's having a negative affect on my mental and physical health.. but I have what feels like golden handcuffs, and I don't know how to just get over my public speaking fears.

    I'm in EMDR therapy now.. once a week for the last 1.5 months.. and it's intense. A lot of my emotions are coming up. But I haven't gone down the public speaking trauma path yet. So maybe that will help.

    This became a much longer post than I initially intended.. but yeah.. a lot of issues in my life that I continually push away - smash all the emotions and fear down inside of me so I can just avoid it.. and then I zone out and play poker or watch Twitch or watch YouTube and try to avoid the black hole that is slowly eating me from inside. But at least now I'm paying attention to my emotions.. I'm journaling and doing therapy and doing this program. A lot of emotions have come to the surface, a lot of physical sensations and crying. But I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is good stuff, @readyforthis! Really interesting that this unintentionally long post is from your Day 9 pondering, because around this point in the SEP (between days 7 to 10) is when people most frequently report intense emotions, more symptoms, sometimes increased anxiety... and it sounds like you're having those as well.

    Which means you're on the right track!

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