Sharing – Dwelling on Our Mistakes: Why do We Judge and Shame Ourselves?

Could be because, somewhere, we believe the worst about ourselves, in ways we would never to do other people.

Most of us spend a lot of time criticizing ourselves.

For example, if the thought comes up ‘I’m so ugly’, and we dwell on all the moments we felt unattractive, it gains power. When we stew, chew or brood, we are investing more energy in a thought and in turn give it significance. The more we think of something, the more it comes to mind.

This reminds me of a conversation I had months back, about work. I mentioned that normally if I make a mistake, no one needs to tell me, I’ll remember it for the rest of my life, like every other mistake I’ve ever made. One of the people who heard me say that said that it must be nice to have made so few mistakes in my life that I can remember them all.

Ha, If only…

Of course as a survivor, with anxiety and self-worth struggles, it is not the case that I’ve made so few mistakes, it’s that I am absolutely prone to always assume I’m going to make mistakes, and am always looking for them, and reminding myself of ones I’ve made in the past.

That’s just how my brain works. I have not found any successful method to stop thinking about all of my mistakes. Rather, what I have learned instead is to remind myself that yes, I made those mistakes, and I also lived through them. They were not the end of the world.

So, when I make my next mistake, I’ll know it, I’ll feel all of the anxiety, maybe even be a bit defensive about it. Then I’ll live through it. That is life.

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