Being self critical definitely makes you your own worst enemy. Finding fault with ourselves and self loathing defies all logic. We are given the raw materials to work with when we are born and although we can improve ourselves to a point, there is no escaping our biology. Despite this fact, we all seem to make a habit of rejecting ourselves and comparing ourselves unfavourably to others. What a complete waste of time!
Think about it…why wouldn’t you want to get as comfortable with yourself as possible? We’re stuck with the body we are born into so it makes sense to spend effort on liking ourselves and working with what we’ve been given. I especially loathed myself in my teens and early twenties. I was extremely self conscious and hate just about everything about myself – the way I looked, the way I behaved…there was very little self love and acceptance going on back then.
It has taken me many years to begin to feel comfortable in my own skin and I know I am not alone in this. I find it a sad state of affairs though and if I could go back and give my younger self a wise message, it would be to appreciate my youth more and focus on my strengths instead of always looking at my perceived weaknesses. We seem to only appreciate things once we no longer have them. I regularly see pictures of my younger self and can see now that I looked pretty good yet at the time, I can remember feeling inadequate, fat and ugly.
Do yourself a favour and make friends with yourself. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Learn to love all that is unique about you, no matter how weird or different. Celebrate who you are and maximise what you have with appreciation rather than self criticism. You will be amazed at how much happier and at peace you will begin to feel.
“Type A” personalities are often perfectionists. They are ambitious and driven and often place success and achievement about relationships. The problems begin when perfectionists treat their personal relationships the way they do their business.
Most of us devote a lot of time and energy in an attempt to assert control over what happens to us in our uncertain progress through life. We are taught to pursue an elusive form of security that doesn’t really exist. We’re put on a dubious track that suggests if we succeed, we will be happy and secure.
We are also taught that it is important to form intimate relationships that satisfy important needs – access to sex, financial security, the ability to parent and to achieve other objectives involving self regard and emotional security. We are pushed to achieve economic success – go to university and get a good job but when it comes to relationships we are pretty much left to our own devices.
A big problem emerges when we try to control our lives as well as the lives of others. When we adopt this approach we tend to try get what we want at the expense of others. We live in a competitive society. We are forever dividing the world up into losers and winners, good and bad – judge, judge, judge…
Control is a popular illusion, closely related to the pursuit of perfectionism. We all know people who are perfectionistic. They tend to be demanding of themselves and others and end up alienating those around them. The problem with perfectionists and their preoccupation with control is that the qualities that make them effective in their work can render them insufferable in their personal lives. In relationships, we can only be successful if we learn to relinquish control.