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Re: That's terrific!

Posted by katekite on June 5, 2002, at 20:41:23

In reply to That's terrific! katekite, posted by beardedlady on June 5, 2002, at 7:56:10

Homework: to write down in a clearly visible place somewhere a reminder to interrupt my inner critic, and then do it whenever I notice it going (which is most of the time).

I tend to discredit myself or minimize my accomplishments, not so much directly criticize myself as persistently undermine even small achievements. For example, last week my husband broke the lawn mower by extreme overfilling with oil. (he's not too handy). It smoked for a while and stopped. I took it all apart (including the engine itself) and cleaned it out, scraped out the crap, and made it work again. Instead of being proud of that, I somehow decided that it hadn't really been "broken" since it was simply overfilled with oil -- thus I didn't actually "fix" it, just did what anyone would do by cleaning it out. I was explaining this to my husband with an air of confidence when he interupted to say was I nuts of course I had fixed it because it had not been turning on before. This minimizing thing happens with almost every accomplishment however small.

So homework is to intervene -- that old standby of "what would you say to someone who said that negative comment?" -- and insert some phrase like "that took a lot of effort and you should be proud of yourself for being so handy at fixing things." Of course when I do that it sounds totall fake to me, but I'm working at it hard now and trying to make it a habit that at least competes with the critical side. And I'm hopefully starting to recognize more situations that could possibly call for self-accolade. All in the name of finding my non-existent self-esteem.

Thanks for asking. It feels great to be working on something and not just waiting around for the next session.





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