When we get into trouble some of us just say, “My life is a mess. I have so many problems, there must be a dark cloud over my head.” This type of thinking can also be called self-criticism, and can really dampen our outlook on our human journey.
All of us use some sort of push to get ourselves into action. Some of us use encouragement to help out. It might sound like, “You can do it!” This is a bright and non-harming way of getting ourselves to do more.
Do You Carry Past Criticism into Your Future?
But that takes a lot of practice. Many of us might have heard the criticism from our family members and it might have even stuck itself inside our minds. I love my mother. She was a wonderful person, loved by many.
But when I was a little girl, and she was alone with three children and dad was gone, she became overwhelmed. When frustrated she would say things that still give me a sting when I remember them. When at her wits end, she would say, “You good-for-nothing!” I don’t think she really said this to sear me, but this expression did.
I carried this phrase inside my mind for decades. Maybe at times where I made a mistake, I thought of myself as “good for nothing.” It took my own personal counseling and to become a counselor for me to unwind how I thought about myself, and to replace them with more positive aspects.
Focus On the Good You See in Yourself
I now know I am good for a lot of things. I know that I have natural generosity, kindness, friendliness, curiosity, willingness to learn, humor and loyalty. These are the qualities that are always with me and inside of me. I turn to them when I have difficulty. They see me through to the other side.
And I want to tell you that you have all of them too. Everyone of us has this natural goodness. We come to earth with all of these qualities. We might learn things along the way that make us believe other things about ourselves though, but as we start to unravel what we have learned and look at it, we might want to remember our essential nature of goodness.
Reminding Yourself About the Good Counteracts That Criticism
I no longer think of myself as “good for nothing.” I have the ability to understand an overwhelmed mother with three wild children and not knowing how to manage them and saying some things that might not be helpful.
I also know that looking at what we carry from the way we grew up and realizing that it does not describe us, might lead to a better life. Take a look into your own past. See if you have some self-criticism that stings when you repeat it. Learn to use your natural kindness on yourself.
I know you can do this because, just like me, you deserve it.
Communicate From a Positive Place in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to keep perspective positive and productive while talking to your partner, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help both of you feel closer, happier, and more loved. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.