Hi Everyone

It would be nice to see more activity in this community.

Without a healthy self esteem how can a person even be happy? To me a healthy self esteem means having a self esteem that is high enough to take me to the happiness level that I want to reach. Of course, I expect to feel a 'down' emotion sometimes, that is part of being human.

I am willing to participate here in many ways. I won't list all the ways now because I don't want to feel overwhelmed by it. I am facing many difficult challenges right now so it will take time for me to complete the goals I will state here. Also I may have to change my mind about some of the goals. I will ask for volunteers to help me in my goals. Maybe one day, depending on the maintainers approval, I can also be a maintainer on here. I would like the recognition. 8:)

First goal is to get more members joining. Anyone not wanting this? Please let me know why you would not want this.

How to achieve the first goal?

1. Add to the interest list. The list allows for 150 interests! Dararachel and Heatherdawn1980 please consider adding the following interests: fear, lack of confidence, understanding, acceptance, self acceptance, love, self love, respect, self respect, mental illnesses, mental disorders, disability, positive thinking, support group, truth, inner critic, inner voice, personal development, belief systems, values, self concept, empowerment, personal power, self growth...that's all I can think of now. Maybe I can come up with more later.

Fellow members please feel free to post your ideas for the interest list. I think we are allowed up to 150.

2. Promote this community in our personal journals. Maintainers, how about if we copy and paste part of the community info onto our personal journals? Please advise. Maybe we could post a promo on a regular basis onto our personal journals until we feel we have enough new members?

My roommate wants to get on the computer, so it's time for me to go. Plus I think I have said enough for now.

Bye for now


PS: Feel free to post your thoughts re my post and to ask me any questions. You might be wondering "Who is this stranger?" hehehe. Check out my user info. I have read all the posts in this community and also saved some.
  • Current Mood

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I have all the mental health resources in the world being that I work on a psych ward and all, so when I get stressed I turn to these resources to help me out. I filled out this one worksheet that I have given to my patients time and time again. Collapse )

Making Your Critic Useless

The best way to disarm your critic is to render him useless. Take away his role and at last he will be silent. Understanding how the critic works isn't enough. You may now be aware that your critic's function is to push you to achieve or protect you from the fear of rejection or atone for your guilt. But knowing the function doesn't change much. Those same needs must be met in new and healthy ways before you will be willing to forgo the services of your critic.

The following is a list of needs which the critic may help you meet. After each is a brief discussion outlining healthy strategies for meeting the need that do not rely on the critic, which will later be discussed in the book (and on this community).

The need to do right. Your old strategy has been to rely on the critic to coerce you into walking the straight and narrow. The healthier strategy is to reevaluate your list of shoulds and personal standards to see which ones realistically fit you and your current situation.

The need to feel right. Your old strategy for temporarily feeling more worth has been to compare yourself to others or to set high perfectionistic standards. The healthier strategy is to learn to see yourself more realistically and with genuine acceptance.

The need to achieve. Your old strategy relies on the critic for motivation to achieve more. But you pay by feeling bad and worthless every time you miss a goal, every time you make an error, every time you lose momentum. The greatest problem is tha tyou believe the basic premise of the critic's barrage. You believe that your worth depends on your behavior. The first step toward meeting your need to achieve in healthy ways is to challenge your old belief that what you do is what you're worth. The second step involves learning to evaluate your goals to determine if they are appropriate for you. The last step is to find new motivators.

The need to control negative feelings. The critic's attack can paradoxically help you control fear, guilt, anger, and other feelings. It is like digging your fingernails into your hand to block awareness of a painful injury.
1. Feeling not OK or bad or valueless. The critic helps you block this feeling by setting high standards of perfection. The implication is that hard work is all you require to become your ideal self. You can learn to control this feeling without the critic. This involves learning to see yourself accurately and with genuine acceptance.
2. Fear of failure. The critic solves your fear of failure by telling you that you can't do it. As a result, you don't try and your fear recedes. The healthier strategy for controlling the fear of failure is to redefine the meaning of your mistakes. People with low self-esteem consider mistakes to be an idication of a general lack of worth. Each error reaffirms their underlying belief that something is terribly wrong with them. The secret to coping with failure is to recognize that each decision you've made was the very best one available under the circumstances.
3. Fear of rejection. The critic helps you cope with rejection by predicting and desensitizing you to hurts. He also helps you cope by making you act in such a way that others are discouraged from any criticism. A healthier strategy for dealing with the fear of rejection is to reframe social errors as the best available decisiion at the time, develop specific skills for coping with criticism, and learn to check out an assumed rejection rather than mind-read.
4. Anger. The critic helps you deal with your fear of anger by deflecting it into an attack on yourself. A healthier strategy is to learn what you want and negotiate for change.
5. Guilt. The critic helps control your guilt by punishing you. A better strategy is to determine if your guilt comes from the violation of a healthy or unhealthy value. If your rule is unhealthy, you can fight your guilt by questioning your old value.
6. Frustration. The critic helps you control frustration by blaming and beating you up until you've discharged enough negative energy to reduce your tension level. The healthier strategy is to relax and calm yourself.

The rest of the book goes into each of these functions of the critic and healthier ways to cope with these feelings. Please note which you think your critic helps you with!!

Happy New Year!

Hi everyone! It's a new year and it's time to raise our self-esteems! Please, if you could, go back over the past few entries about the critic, try to do some of the exercises, etc. I will start posting from the book again, but I'd like to have a few participants! Thanks!

Talking Back

Talking back is an important part of the book (that all these quotes are from!). You are to learn to refute and reject the old negative programming you received as a child. The following are 3 methods for talking back. Experiment with each and see which work best for you.

1. The Howitzer Mantras. These are selected words and phrases that are designed to hit the critic like a cannon blast. Some examples are:
Stop it!
These are lies.
Shut up!
Choose a mantra that helps you feel angry. It is good to get mad. You can use profanity! Mentally scream at the critic so that you can drown him out with your anger.

2. Asking the price. One of the best ways to disarm the critic is to think about the price you pay for his attacks. What does listening to the critic cost you? Now talk back by telling the critic what he has cost you. EXERCISE: Make a list of ways in which your self-esteem has affected you in terms of your relationships, work, and level of well-being. When you are done with your list, combine the most important items into a summary statment that you can use when the critic attacks.

3. Affirmation of worth. This method is hard especially if you have a deeply held belief that there is something wrong with you, that you are not OK. But you must learn to affirm yourself if you are to fully disarm the critic. You need to both silence the critic and put something in his place - a positive awareness of your own worth. Your value is your consciousness, your ability to perceive and experience. The value of a human life is that it exists. The following affirmations are examples of things you might use to keep the critic at bay.
I am worthwihile because I breathe and feel and am aware.
Why do I hurt myself? I am trying to survive, I do the best I can.
I feel pain, I love, I try to survive. I am a good person.
My pain, my hope, my struggle to survive links me to every other human being. We are all just trying to live and we are doing the best we can.
Try to find a statement that you can believe and you can use to replace your critical voice.
EXERCISE: write your own affirmation. (further chapters in the book will help to generate affirmations you can believe). Try to use an affirmation every time you have successfully shut down an attack from your critic.

unmasking the critic's purpose

It is important to undertand an opponent's ulterior motives in order to win an argument against them. Here are some examples of how you might unmask your critic:
- You're kicking me right now to force me to live by the rules I grew up with.
- You're comparing me to everyone so that once in a while I'll find someone lower on the totem poll than me.
- You're slapping me around like my parents used to do, and I believe you because I believed them.
- You're beating me so that I'll achieve more and more and maybe feel better about myself.
- You're insisting that I be perfect because if I did everything exactly right, I might finally feel OK about myself.
- You're saying I can't do it so that I won't bother trying and won't have to worry about screwing up.
- You're telling me why they won't like me so that I won't be so hurt if I'm rejected.
- You're saying she's disgusted by me so that no matter what the truth is, I'll be prepared for the worst.
- You're telling me to be perfect so that I'll stupidly think that maybe I could be perfect and for a few minutes feel better about myself.
- You're kicking me around so that I can atone for divorcing Jill.
Getting clear about the critic's function makes everything he says less believable. You've exposed his secret agenda. You will therefore be less vulnerable to him. Remember that the critic attacks because his voice is being reinforced. When you are able to identify the role your critic plays in your psychological life you are beginning to serioulsy undermine the credibility of his message.