As women and mothers, we tend to shoulder all the blame, we consider ourselves responsible, especially when things don’t go as planned, even if the cause or events were beyond our control.
Although this kind of tendency to self-blame can make us seem humble and unassuming, it can also inhibit us from becoming more creative and curb the desire to strive to do better, leading to feelings of guilt and inferiority.
Most will usually avoid taking the initiative to try new endeavours and pre-empt things going wrong, instead preferring to stay inconspicuous so as to avoid receiving extra (negatively perceived) attention, and in doing so, hope that others will have similar expectations of our capabilities.
Self-blame gives birth to being overly self-critical.
Being self-critical is the act of telling ourselves negative and destructive thoughts, such as being inadequate, shameful, or a failure. Almost all tend to be self-critical to some degree. However, the problem begins when this becomes a habit; a negative, self-reinforcing loop.
This is because constant negative and unfounded self-criticism causes a person to become stuck with negative thoughts and emotions about themselves. They feel guilt and shame to the extent that they no longer feel any desire to achieve or function. If left unaddressed, this self-berating can increase the risk of developing anxiety and depression.
Such self-criticism deprives an individual of being able to look at their efforts or abilities objectively. It robs them of being able to engage in healthy self-reflection, which would allow them to be more accepting of any past mistakes and open to self-development and growth.
Critical self-reflection versus self-blame and criticism.
Rather than continually beating ourselves up and losing ourselves down a path of self-destruction, let us stop and do an objective reality check.
Let us stop and get real about ourselves. Some critical self-reflection allows us to identify and accept our imperfections and take conscious steps to improve them. Simply, it should be a feedback mechanism, not a tool for consistent self-deprecation.
Steps To Keep Your Self-Blaming and Self-Criticism In Check
Focus your critical self-reflection on your behaviour.
Behaviours can be changed. This is why when your inner voice starts to be critical, it is time to address your behaviours. Be careful not to criticize your attributes, as you can’t always change them, or need to. Your attributes are a part of your uniqueness.
If you blame yourself for not being super-intelligent, you run the risk of drowning in frustration and depression. If instead you more correctly blame or criticize your habit of spending too much time on your smartphone instead of studying, then chances are you can find ways to rectify the behaviour, and therefore change the result.
Know the difference between taking responsibility and self-blaming.
Instead of being quick to blame or criticize yourself, try to assess the situation first. It is important that you look into every aspect of yourself, and see how your actions, inactions, and the words you have left unspoken, affected the entire outcome of the situation. Accept your mistakes and come up with ways on how you can improve yourself as well as the situation in the future.
Challenge your self-critical inner voice.
When your inner voice tells you that you are lazy, not worthy, or inadequate, challenge these thoughts! Start by creating a journal of the things that you like about yourself, and your strengths. Creating this type of journal will help you appreciate yourself more and criticize yourself less. You can grab a free printable journal, on the services page, under resources.
If you work on improving yourself, your skills, abilities, and behaviour you will find it easier to get rid of your negative self-critical inner voice.