Some of you reading this will be exactly like me:
YOUR VERY OWN WORST CRITIC
This can involve:
- Constantly criticising yourself and questioning “why did you do/say that?” in most social situations.
- Maybe this makes you more self-aware or self-conscious so then you find yourself making more “mistakes”.
- You have an internal argument with yourself when decision making where it feels like one half of your brain is telling you that you made the right choice and the other half is telling you that you made the worst decision of your life!
- You could find yourself sitting at home running through the day’s events picking out the times you were a bad person and where your actions could’ve been deemed hurtful.
- You quite often think: “I could’ve done better, I should’ve been better”.
If you can cross off most of (or all) those statements, you my friend, are your own worst and harshest critic!
I think a massive part of being your own harshest critic is underestimating yourself and what you do daily, especially if, like me, you have a mental illness. I get so caught up in dwelling on what I think is bad about myself or worrying about what could happen that I tend to neglect the positives and the small victories I experience every day. In my eyes, they aren’t even victories. We all achieve so much more than we give ourselves credit for! I think now is the time to give these achievements, no matter how small, the recognition they deserve.
My weekly achievements:
1. Getting out of bed every morning despite feeling anxious of the day ahead of me.
2. Looking after myself by showering every day and washing my hair (TRESemmé or Herbal Essences with Original Source Vanilla & Raspberry shower gel if you were interested).
3. Dealing with OCD, its intrusive thoughts and the general impact it has on my life.
4. Being able to resist some of the compulsions that the OCD threatens me with.
5. Driving almost every day of the week even though it completely terrifies me.
6. Volunteering as a Counsellor for ChildLine and the sense of responsibility that I feel.
7. Training as a Counsellor on a Masters course which is emotionally challenging, consists of multiple deadlines, a placement, almost an hour away from where I live AND to be completed in a year.
And these are only some that I can think of from this week. Number 3 and 4 really are the most important to me. I am doing really well and I don’t give myself enough credit for it. Dealing with a busy head and trying to function in life is not easy, especially when this busy head is telling you that every action you do will have a knock-on effect and cause a bad thing to happen. The fact I can function in life and, what’s more, without many people even realising the daily struggles I go through is a huge achievement.
My ChildLine supervisor once said to me that I need to leave my shift reminding myself that “I did my absolute best today”. This is still something I am trying to convince myself of but is so incredibly important to believe and tell ourselves. Be kind to yourself lovely people and write your own lists of achievements, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.