You know when you say something dumb, and then obsess about it for the next ten hours? Chances are the other person didn’t even think anything of it or if they did perhaps think you said something odd they’ll have forgotten about it within, say, twenty seconds.
We’re our own harshest critics and tend to focus on what we’re doing wrong, the stupid thing we did/said/thought, whether it was moments ago or years gone.
The thing is, we don’t see ourselves fairly. Our perception is warped, and we’re remembering and mentally rehearsing the sad, embarrassing, awkward or just less than perfect moments of how we’ve acted, and can forget to replay or celebrate the good moments and the victories, the milestones and the overcome hurdles, quickly brushing these off as some sort of miracle or anomaly, or explain away that we were only successful because of someone else’s input, or not even recognising the positive moment for what it is.
Perhaps, next time you’re tempted to denigrate yourself, see yourself instead through the eyes of a loved one. Talk to yourself with kindness and forgiveness. Take on board advice from your self evaluation, but remember to praise yourself too, so that you can develop a positive sense of self that is free to live without the constraints of criticism.