is an effective way to monitor and improve your performance. It's
healthy and necessary for learning. According to psychologist and
author Terry Paulson, it's estimated that individuals make between
300 to 400 self-evaluations per day.
That's a lot of
opportunities to correct your mistakes, sharpen your focus, adjust
your style and improve the perceptions others may have of you at work.
But here's the
Paulson says that,
for the average person, 80 percent of these self-evaluations are negative!
can be demoralizing. It erodes your confidence and self-esteem. You
become overwhelmed with self-doubt and take fewer risks.
got enough pressure on you without your inner-voice second-guessing
and undermining your every move.
If you're a victim
of chronic self-criticism, I suggest you take the following steps:
1. Catch yourself
in the act.
Be sensitive to your thoughts and feelings and be alert to the times
you are critical of yourself. This can be difficult, but with 300-400
opportunities, even if you identify a dozen instances you'll be ahead
of the game.
2. Find the
real reason for the negativity.
When you hear your inner-voice saying "no, you are wrong, don't
do this or you screwed up," probe for the real reason. Ask yourself
some tough questions. Is it because you're afraid of failure? Don't
want to take a risk? What is it you're afraid will happen?
3. Don't be
afraid to challenge yourself.
Obviously, some self-criticism will be justified. Everyone makes mistakes
or could've done something better. Chalk up these criticisms as learning
experiences that will lead to better performance. That's a good thing.
But you can't possibly be wrong or incompetent 80 percent of the time.
Question each negative judgment and determine if it is honestly warranted.
4. Then ask
yourself, "So what?"
Does the punishment fit your so-called crime? In the overall scheme
of things at work, does it really matter? What's the worst thing that
can happen? Could you be fired? Will your boss think less of you?
Chances are you'll find you're being overly hard on yourself.
negative thoughts with positive ones.
As you assess and monitor your inner-voice, you'll find opportunities
to replace faultfinding with positive, constructive thoughts. For
example, say you're leaving a staff meeting and your inner voice whispers,
"You should've spoken up about that issue with Accounting. Why
are you such a coward?" Rather than feel guilty, you think, "I
brought up a lot of important issues and handled myself well in the
meeting. I'll look for the right opportunity to talk to my supervisor
about the problem with Accounting and she'll help me solve it."
6. Learn to
feel good about yourself.
You'll know you're making progress when your inner-voice instinctively
sends more positive, empowering messages. When in conversations or
situations with others, your thoughts focus on what you can achieve
versus what you should fear, what can go right versus what can go
wrong. You'll become more confident about who you are and what you're
capable of doing.