We are our own worst enemies. The mind can be an excellent servant, but a lousy master as well. If you believe every thought that comes to your mind and you make a whole ceremony around it by thinking, brooding, creating scenarios in your head, making plots and enemies of others, you will certainly not feel good about yourself.
External criticism, although may be well-intended, can become very harmful when we internalize those messages, especially from the early childhood, when our reasoning is not developed fully yet and we can not discern the beneficial from non-beneficial, true from the distorted versions of reality. We just accept things for their face value because those messages come from the authoritative figures, such as our parents, teachers, etc. Even when we grow up and become more rational and independent, we are not completely able to create an internal psychological environment to our best interest. Our minds are filled with various “voices” of criticism, regret, wishful thinking, envy, fear, and here and there, some hopeful and true rational voices.
How can we go from here? It is not easy to expect to be completely free from our internal judge, yet it is not impossible to set our selves free from its chain by practicing self-care and re-appraising the initial thoughts of the harsh judgments. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and observe your self as if were any other person. What advice would you give to yourself? How would you react to certain events? Would they be that embarrassing and shameful, or negative and significant? Most probably not. Because other people do not pay some much attention to others, you may create a certain impression or a memory, but it won’t be as significant as you would imagine it to be. Everyone is a center of their own world and you play just a little role in their personal universe.
Thus the most important judgment is your own. The most important reference point is your own with your values and goals. So, do not make your decisions about yourself based of what your think other may think about you, or based on your internalized tyrant. Base your decisions and values on that voice in your head which is kind and full of understanding, patient and flexible, and which is close to your true nature. In this way you will look forward doing thins and create lots of space for your personal development.
This is just a simple math: less time spent in brooding, rumination and worry – more time spent in pleasant and productive activities and helping others.