April 24, 2024   12:58am

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Ever put yourself down rather than just give yourself credit?  If you have an “inner critic,” you’re not alone …

There are plenty of people who don’t give themselves enough credit, and writer Melinda Beck in the Wall Street Journal tells them it’s time to stop in  “Silencing The Voice That Says You’re a Fraud.”  She offers some interesting advice for those that tend to paralyze ambitions with “harsh judgment and unrelenting fear.”

“Psychologists say many of their patients are plagued by a harsh Inner Critic– including some extremely successful people who think it’s the secret to their success,” Beck says.

Theories on why some are more self-critical than others include:  Internalizing and exaggerating the expectations of others; turning anger inwards from an inability to express it properly; or avoiding being hurt by others by hurting yourself before they can.

The article advises:

  • monitor your thoughts of criticism.
  • evaluate your judgments as a way to see if you’re being fair to yourself.
  • collect objective data of your achievements (write them on a note card) and pull it out as a reminder when you’re getting down on yourself.
  • Recognize the difference between conviction and condemnation so you’re more constructive in your criticisms.
  • re-evaluate your values to make sure “whatever you are beating yourself up about is worth striving for.”

And if not just for peace of mind, consider also that those that are overly self-critical are more likely to become depressed, anxious, have relationship issues, and develop eating and other disorders.

Now that you know it’s possible to be more appreciative of yourself, take a stab at following some of Beck’s suggestions.


The Wall Street Journal, “Silencing The Voice That Says You’re a Fraud,” Melinda Beck, June 16, 2009

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