We have discussed our inner critic many times in our Next Step meetings, however, this was a topic where we looked at it in a different way. This specifically looked at specific ways we are self-critical and its disguised as "helpful" or socially expected behavior like working too much.
Perfectionism will most certainly make you vulnerable to becoming harmfully critical of yourself. I use the quote by Berne Brown, "Perfectionism is shame in action." Being self-critical is an act of shaming ourselves for not doing it just right. This is the thing about aiming to be perfect at something, you will essentially do it right, but you will never be satisfied because there is ALWAYS things we could have done or could do differently.
A common thread in our meetings showed up in the way we all engage in "I will do _____ when I am finished with _____." Putting off rewarding ourselves with things that make life enjoyable because its the prize waiting for us when we complete something. That means we rarely if ever give ourselves permission to actually do or enjoy "the thing". I call this dangling the carrot, you use the reward to motivate you, but the reward is always out of reach.
Are you exhausted yet? I am...I am done putting my life on hold to get something done that I once felt was more important than myself. I take the time to enjoy my food (if I am eating calories, I will enjoy every bite), take time getting anything done, take time out for self-care, etc. Like my mom told me, "Burn the fancy candles and eat on the china". I don't own china and I have very few candles but I understand what she meant. Don't wait to celebrate success when you become mature and aware...you recognize that EVERYDAY is a CELEBRATION.
Missed the meeting? No worries, I have posted our Next Step presentation for this and all of our topics on our website under the members only section. This is a password protected area, see the website for details on how to access the meetings presentations.
Kimberly Sprintz, Founder & President
Women Empowering Women Support Groups
Group Facilitator for Next Step, CoDA & ACA