“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”— Louise Hay
As I was growing up, I was often criticized for not achieving the highest grades or following every single rule perfectly by family. Their words often hurt me, but I refused to bend to their will. For example, I argued that I would rather achieve B’s and have a social life than straight A’s and hide inside my room. I believed that a balanced lifestyle was more important. Sadly, I sometimes found myself actually criticizing myself for not achieving their ideals. (Quietly, wishing that I could…if only…)
As an adult, I was criticized constantly for not being the ideal (fill in the blank) by everyone around me. Again, I refused to bend to their will. Yes, it seemed to make my life more difficult back then. It might have been easier to just follow all their commands, right? Unfortunately, it would be chaos as one person’s demands contradicted the other one. How would one be able to do both?
It’s unwise and impossible to do both! So, I chose to follow my own path. I often listened to my inner child tell me to follow my gut instincts. I learned that too often I left my inner child vulnerable to negative attacks from people close to me. Again and again, each time I had to slowly learn to recover. However, recovery was never complete.
As decades passed, when I was criticized, I tended to let my inner child hide in fear and anxiety. Instead, my inner parental voice would automatically rush out in anger to protect the child. Fight or flight response was the tactic… I was told that I wasn’t worthy of anything as I was not achieving their standards.
Fortunately, there were those around me who appreciated my dedication and skills. They often rushed to my side when I felt lost and overwhelmed. Many of these were actually likeminded people that I met through networking.
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