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Poll
Question: How strong is your inner critic?
0: Supportive inner voice - 2 (1.7%)
1-3: Some concerns - 31 (26.5%)
4-6: Strong critic - 45 (38.5%)
7-10 Dominating - 39 (33.3%)
Total Voters: 116

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Author Topic: SELF ASSESSMENT | How strong is your inner critic?  (Read 10784 times)
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« on: February 20, 2011, 09:51:12 AM »

Determine the Strength of Your Inner Critic

Answer the questions in a post below and then record your score in the poll. Adapted from Healing Your Emotional Self by Beverly Engel. What has this exercise shown you about your inner critic?

1. Do you spend a great deal of time evaluating your performance, your appearance, your abilities, or your past history?   Yes (to any or all) = 1 point      No = 0 points

2. Do you set very high standards for yourself?  Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

3. Is it difficult to live up to the standards you use to judge yourself?  Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

4. Do you give yourself little breathing room to make mistakes Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

5. Is your underlying sense of self often determined by your beliefs regarding what is right or wrong? (Note: I interpret this to mean "I define myself as a good person or I am a bad person based on some recent action."  Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

6. Is your sense of self often determined by whether you have met your own or others' standards? Yes (to either or both) = 1 point      No = 0 points

7. Do you spend a great deal of time worrying that you have done something wrong?   Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

8. Are you continually plagued by critical messages inside your head that you are unable to quiet?   Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

9. Do you constantly compare yourself to others or to the success of others?    Yes (to either or both) = 1 point      No = 0 points

10. Are you often envious of others' successes or achievements?  Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points




SCORING AND QUESTIONS FOR COMMENT

Score of 0: Your internal voice is likely supportive. Is that your experience? Have you worked on any inner critic issues in the past, and how?

Score of 1-3: Some trouble with your inner critic--something to watch out for and work on. Are you working on this now? How?

Score of 4-6: Your inner critic is quite strong. What is causing you the most concern right now due to your inner critic? What specific steps might you take to begin to address that concern?

Score of 7-10: Your inner critic is likely dominating your experience. What is causing you the most concern right now due to your inner critic? What specific steps might you take to begin to address that concern?


See list of all self-assessment surveys
« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 10:51:32 PM by Harri » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 01:54:31 PM »

Score: 8

Yes to eight of these, sometimes to the other two.

I'm vague concerning the meaning of #6, but #7 and #8 are particularly bad for me.  #9 and #10, not so much, I try to keep off of other people's territory even in thought, with the exception of dwelling too much on the FOO's.

Glad I spotted this thread before it was six pages down the road,  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Thanks

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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 02:13:32 PM »

Score: 10

I answered 'yes' to all ten.

If I am honest with myself, sometimes the inner critic doesn't stop until I take my antidepressants at night and the voice eases enough for me to sleep.

I am working hard with my therapist to work out why it is so severe with me and to find some alternative non-critical messages that I really believe.

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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 03:50:58 PM »

Score: 5

This is the kind of stuff that has been undergoing some major changes in my head recently. So, new perspective for me. Smiling (click to insert in post)

Excerpt
1. Do you spend a great deal of time evaluating your performance, your appearance, your abilities, or your past history?

In the past, definitely, usually really harshly. To the extent that it didn't matter much what I did or if I was successful, I still viewed myself through a negative filter. Now, I think, a little more true-to-life.

Excerpt
2. Do you set very high standards for yourself?

Very. Still working on this aspect, so that at least they're more humanly manageable standards.

Excerpt
3. Is it difficult to live up to the standards you use to judge yourself?

Sometimes, yes. See above

Excerpt
4. Do you give yourself little breathing room to make mistakes?

Some, not a lot. This one is hard!

Excerpt
5. Is your underlying sense of self often determined by your beliefs regarding what is right or wrong? (Note: I interpret this to mean "I define myself as a good person or I am a bad person based on some recent action."

I think this is one of the most difficult inner judgments for me to work around. Establishing a sense of self that is more stable, and less dependent on outside stimuli. This is where a lot of my kind of- breakthrough thinking has been happening.

Excerpt
6. Is your sense of self often determined by whether you have met your own or others' standards?

Somewhat. Mostly my own. Mine are usually higher for me than other people's for me.

Excerpt
7. Do you spend a great deal of time worrying that you have done something wrong?

Not anymore. It helps that I've stopped doing a lot of illegal things.

Excerpt
8. Are you continually plagued by critical messages inside your head that you are unable to quiet?

I have been, for a long time. More recently, my own voice is more positive, and drowns out criticisms like that (which usually come in my father's voice.)

Excerpt
9. Do you constantly compare yourself to others or to the success of others?

No, not anymore. What I have achieved, from where I started, is pretty good, I think. And I'm still getting better.

Excerpt
10. Are you often envious of others' successes or achievements?

No, again. I used to really dislike when other people did well, but I know it doesn't reflect on me.

I certainly feel a lot less internal pressure than I used to, which is an enormous relief.

So- I guess, three to five? On the scale anyway.
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 02:04:15 PM »

Score: 9

How to benefit from this exercise... .

I just realized I hadn't seen the questions asked above, in the scoring section:  my answers being almost all yes'es, my inner critic is dominating my life, and my current experience really does bear this out.  My mother, the BPD in my life, died a month ago while I was making tentative steps to re-establish LC with her, guided by the friend and spiritual advisor I have found in our new parish priest.

It's quite excruciating to be "on the outs" with someone and then they unexpectedly die.  But my relationship with my FOO has always been excruciating and I am in God's merciful hands regarding all of this.  The entire situation for this past month has served to illustrate how the inner critic has dominated my life for decades, if not for all my life, and how it can take me down for keeps if I don't realize a) that I am in God's loving and merciful care, and b) that I don't have to allow my past experiences to determine my future.

That being said, the situation causing me the most concern recently has been depression, the inner voice just wringing me out and draining me of any desire to get out of bed in the morning and do anything at all, once out of bed, but mope around.  My specific steps regarding this have been to set my clock radio alarm to an inspirational radio station, so that the first thing I hear in the morning is not my own wretched thoughts, but something uplifting.  Then to force myself to go to morning Mass/eat breakfast/go for a walk/ go hiking/pack up some of the overcrowding in my small home, to get rid of the junk and store away my "treasures."  Wash dishes/rake leaves, etc.  Try to go about the small businesses of life and muffle the drama.  It's been my experience that when fighting depression, it's the little baby steps that turn out to be hugely constructive.

What has this exercise shown me about my inner critic?   How deadly it is, how overwhelming, and how it has affected my entire life.  Something that happened to me just a few days ago that ties in completely with this question is that Father G. asked me, in all seriousness, "Why don't you love yourself?  You hate yourself."  It's been a tremendous discovery for me, a religious person, to find out that (pathological) self-hatred, when cherished and indulged in, is considered to be a serious sin.  When this was pointed out to me, it opened a whole new world for me because it tells me that it is OK with God if I have some kind of a decent regard for myself.  Something really evil about my inner critic is that it has sometimes disguised itself as the voice of God.  That's why I need Father, to keep me from flying upside down.  

Things would be hugely different in all areas of my life if my inner critic were muzzled.  What little I've been able to do so far, has been enormously helpful.  The inner critic is probably not the only area where I need work, but it surely ties in with everything else.

Great insights from everyone, thanks so much.

xoxo   s a




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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2011, 10:22:01 PM »

Score of 4-6: Your inner critic is quite strong. What is causing you the most concern right now due to your inner critic? What specific steps might you take to begin to address that concern?

I've seen a change in my inner critic over the years.  When I was younger (teens & 20's) it was VERY negative and difficult to keep up with demands and perfection I was placing on myself.  Through my 30's (in the midst of a bad marriage) I was in denial and mostly ignorned my inner critic being in a state of 'numbness'.  Now in my 40's, my inner critic is still very present, but not at the same negative intensity.  I beat myself up a lot less, but it surfaces strongly in various situations.  Being aware of it, trying to catch it and making an effort to reverse my thinking, has helped.  I'm still working hard in this area though ~ books, seminars, + with the T.
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2011, 10:40:14 PM »

Score of 1-3: Some trouble with your inner critic--something to watch out for and work on. Are you working on this now? How?

I am working on this, self help books lots of prayer. A few months ago I would have scored much higher. I recently turned 40 and realized I have to cut me some slack there are people waiting in line to treat me bad, no need for me to do it Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). Actually since reading all the bp stuff and my bph being so hard on me I have been trying to focus on my good points. Some days it goes better than others!
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2011, 04:07:01 PM »

One way to work on our Inner Critics is to nurture a healthier alternate, the Inner Witness. What is the Inner Witness?

Excerpt
When someone starts doing therapy or any sort of self-reflective inner work, their first task is to develop the Inner Witness, the one who reflects your experience back to you. This has also been called the Observing Self, and its job is simply to record what you think, feel, say and do, moment to moment. The Inner Witness is only a witness. It does not judge; it does not comment; it does not correct. Those things are done by the Inner Critic, which we'll get to in a moment. The Inner Witness just makes a recording, sort of like a video recorder, so that you can go back and walk through the experience again to see how you got from point A to point B.



Steven Kessler, "The First Two Steps in Inner Work," at www.selfgrowth.com/articles/the_first_two_steps_in_inner_work

Try an experiment? Spend half an hour consciously nurturing your Inner Witness. If your Inner Critic pipes up, just notice it, "here's the Inner Critic again"--just observe, no need to judge. Your goal here is just to get to know yourself from the inside out. You might imagine yourself as a scientist or curious child with a clipboard, simply noting what happens.

So, what happens during this experiment?

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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2011, 09:19:50 PM »

I was well aware that I was having some inner critic/self esteem issues lately, but I really appreciate B&W posting this quiz because I couldn't ignore my high score. This post and a couple other unrelated incidents led me to look for some more help with adjusting my thought patterns. I've just started the Mood Gym that was suggested in the suggested reading post of this board (free online CBT). I've experienced the mood boost associated with starting any new therapy, but beyond that I'm hopeful that this will help with my inner critic specifically. I posted that I was starting Mood Gym on this board already, but I thought those of us responding to the inner critic post might benefit from my (tentative) recommendation as well because CBT has a proven track record for anxiety and depression and it targets that inner voice that drags us down.

Thanks for sharing your experience so far with Mood Gym, ASB! I hope you'll keep at it and let us know how it's going? For those interested in a small taste of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, this workshop gives one example: Ease Your Pain by Reframing Your Thoughts.

B&W
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2011, 02:06:39 PM »

The article on the "first stages of inner work" is tremendous!  It ties in so well with the DBT work that I've done for a long time, enhancing it (IMO) by labelling that attacking, vicious voice of the Critic and pointing out that it is the input from a 2-to-5 y/o child.  That's some information which is new to me, but makes perfect sense because it has already been borne out in my own inner work on myself:  the new information and way of visualizing what's happening in me when the Inner Critic attacks, is that the patterns (compare them to smoke, but smoke with real fangs) easily form themselves into the cries of a distraught 5-year-old.  Plus the fact that it's as intractable and inconsolable as a very young child who has only limited reasoning/deductive powers.

I've been giving careful attention to the inner voices since reading all the new material, and went so far as to put the kitchen timer into my pocket for an interval on Sunday.  I think the Inner Critic must've known it was being watched, because it basically went into hiding, but I did catch myself slipping two or three times into ruminations of assessing past history and then feeling sorry for myself, and the important thing about these ruminations is that if I let them go, I'm attacked by sudden fantasies about new attacks/injuries/embarrassments, and all of a sudden the fox is among the chickens, so to speak, and I am in a rage.  It's then that the Inner Critic attacks, and attacks viciously and with no mercy.  If I "allow" this pattern to run its full course -- when it happens, it's because I'm caught by surprise, usually -- then it gets really ugly.

I've been working on this for a long time and have learned to utilize some tested methods for de-railing the process, but I've had to limit my life circumstances pretty severely to try to avoid getting pushed to the point where I will go home and beat myself up.  I find myself in spiritual dilemmas about how to stand up to those people who would push me around, trying to avoid getting pushed around, without pushing them back in any way that would violate my religious principles or or give these others an excuse to sock it to me again.  You can see that trying to deal with the problem, as blackandwhite says, is not an easy matter.

Great thread, thanks!

xoxo   s a xoxo


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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2011, 12:31:15 PM »

Score: 5

1. Do you spend a great deal of time evaluating your performance, your appearance, your abilities, or your past history?

   Yes (to any or all) = 1 point      No = 0 points

   

    1 point

2. Do you set very high standards for yourself?

   Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

    1 point

3. Is it difficult to live up to the standards you use to judge yourself?

   Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

    0 points

4. Do you give yourself little breathing room to make mistakes?

   Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

    1 point

5. Is your underlying sense of self often determined by your beliefs regarding what is right or wrong? (Note: I interpret this to mean "I define myself as a good person or I am a bad person based on some recent action."

   Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

    0 points

6. Is your sense of self often determined by whether you have met your own or others' standards?

   Yes (to either or both) = 1 point      No = 0 points

    0 points

7. Do you spend a great deal of time worrying that you have done something wrong?

   Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

    1 point

8. Are you continually plagued by critical messages inside your head that you are unable to quiet?

   Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

     1 point

9. Do you constantly compare yourself to others or to the success of others?

   Yes (to either or both) = 1 point      No = 0 points

     0 points

10. Are you often envious of others' successes or achievements?

    Yes = 1 point      No = 0 points

     0 points

SCORING AND QUESTIONS FOR COMMENT

my score:  5

Score of 4-6: Your inner critic is quite strong. What is causing you the most concern right now due to your inner critic? What specific steps might you take to begin to address that concern?

my  greatest concern right now is:  will i remember all my skills when my BPD14 comes home from the rtc?  what will i do/how will i react if she becomes angry and acts out, starts behaving in unhealthy ways again?   will the fear return compounded with huge disappointment?

will my actions/words be a catalyst for helping or hurting?

steps i can take:  allow myself to make mistakes, trust myself to have the best of intentions, believe in my abilities, remind myself there is always the chance to do it differently/better next time.

All: What has this exercise shown you about your inner critic?

that i am too hard on myself sometimes... .i'm not a therapist/counselor, BPD expert, expert on adolescents or even human nature... .i'm just a mom that loves her daughter.

lbjnltx
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2011, 05:19:39 PM »

Score: 7

Just pondering this thread for a few minutes - comes to mind how hard it is to accept doing it right. Getting praise. being told I have done a good job. Critic says "gee, they missed the point - they sure dond't know me, the real me."  Then I observe - well I did do it well. What is this hesitation, this need to sabatoge my success, to be less than I can be in this situation. I do this at work, I do this with my relationships at home, I do this with my freinds here at FFT on the parents board. This is a voice that goes back as far as I have memory. It is the five year old standing in the hall swallowing a spikky button that shouldn't even be in my mouth and felling it hurt all the way down as my mommy changes the sheets on my bed that are wet from the night accident that i cannot acknowledge or talk to her about and she does not talk to me about. I have to take care of myself, I am expected to be responsible for myself, I cannot ask for more than my share of attention. And yet  I know that I act out with my 'moods' to get attention and don't trust that anyone else will notice what I need and caannot ask in a kind way because to the fear.

I am observing this here. Not sure if I still believe all this about myself, but it does come up to the top sometimes. Espcially in trying to do a better job with raising my gd5 than i feel I did with my BPDDD24.

I do not trust any T I have worked with enough to protect me as I work on this inner stuff, so I am left again to do it alone at my desk with my safe online friends. And when I worked on this 20 years ago in day treatment they did not believe the intensity and realness of my fears and I nearly succeeded in killing myself - and the pdoc acted so surprised that I would actually follow through with this. In fact there was this raging defiant child that said - you can't tell me what to do - don't you tell me I won't hurt myself because I have a young child. YIKES - DD was the same age as gd is now when all this happened 20 years ago.

Raising gd5 is pushing me out of my hiding place again, and I want to be a stable part of this community. But always watching, waiting for another parent to pull their child back from play as I would be untrustworthy. But the reality is not this, as gd5 plays with a neighborhood friend outside my window. She is happy, healthy, normal 5 year old and i can observe that I am being a good parent to her. And I am being a good parent with DD24 as she makes her own way, tho homeless and not living a life I could tolerate. Other parents trust their kids for a playdate here at my house. I do know what is going on as my observer notes that this is not the same as the past - I am not the same, gd is not the same as DD, these are all different people in the houses around me. My mom still can't talk to me about how I am really feeling, but dh can listen and is finally here for me.

Is this all to many words for this thread? I really want to delete this and go away for awhile, but will post it anyway.

Now i am going to fly a kite in the field behind our house with gd and her friend. Such a nice, warm, breezy, sunny day. I will go out and BE IN IT.

qcr

PS - posted this without reading page 2. Yikes - like a 5 year old huh?

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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 06:33:39 PM »

Score: 7

Hey, since this is a featured topic today, is it ok to post on the thread? I see the quiz is a feature.

I think a few years ago I would have gotten a 10.

My inner critic is really, really strong. In every area. I know WHY this is ... .and the roots are still there. I've had "writer's block" for years and it's not at all about writing... .it's about feeling like I have the right to express myself creatively, because even in my mid-40s I hear words from childhood saying otherwise. It's ridiculous, and yet it's there.

Still, I think I've made some progress. I'm not jealous of others' accomplishments. I know several working writers and some who are starting to meet with success. I have a family member in a completely unrelated field, who wrote a piece of fiction that is getting rave reviews. Part of me thinks ... .hey! I was supposed to be the writer in the family (LOL)... .but in truth I'm happy for him and find it inspiring.  A few years ago it would have sent me into a self-critical "why bother" bitter funk and I would have felt it was fate for me not to do it.  
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2012, 10:33:46 AM »

One way to work on our Inner Critics is to nurture a healthier alternate, the Inner Witness. What is the Inner Witness?

Excerpt
When someone starts doing therapy or any sort of self-reflective inner work, their first task is to develop the Inner Witness, the one who reflects your experience back to you. This has also been called the Observing Self, and its job is simply to record what you think, feel, say and do, moment to moment. The Inner Witness is only a witness. It does not judge; it does not comment; it does not correct. Those things are done by the Inner Critic, which we'll get to in a moment. The Inner Witness just makes a recording, sort of like a video recorder, so that you can go back and walk through the experience again to see how you got from point A to point B.



Steven Kessler, "The First Two Steps in Inner Work," at www.selfgrowth.com/articles/the_first_two_steps_in_inner_work

Try an experiment? Spend half an hour consciously nurturing your Inner Witness. If your Inner Critic pipes up, just notice it, "here's the Inner Critic again"--just observe, no need to judge. Your goal here is just to get to know yourself from the inside out. You might imagine yourself as a scientist or curious child with a clipboard, simply noting what happens.

So, what happens during this experiment?

This is a good point, though I have never heard the term Inner Witness.  I have been aware of having a strong inner critic for many years.  Probably 20-25 years ago, after some therapy, self-examination and reading, I decided to live a life of consistency among what I think, what I say, what I mean, what I do, and what I believe--and rooting out the incongruencies.  Later a psychologist I sat next to on an airplane told me that is known as congruence.  It is interesting to see similar terms as the Inner Witness.  I think it is also linked to what we observe as integrity.  I think doing this, and having some level of self-acceptance, quiets the inner critic.  Living this way may appear as virtue, and may be, but for me it is more a way of living in peace and meaningfulness, relatively free from the regrets, angst and self-criticism that can come from incongruence.

So, when I read the questions some were a little difficult to answer.  I am not free from some of the thoughts asked about in the questions, but I think I can process them pretty quickly with habitual checks of how they stand up to the inner framework of beliefs and the test of consistency among what I think, say, mean, do and believe.  I think if I can make sure I also pay attention to what gives me joy and meaning in life and fit that in with the rest, I can appreciate life, be motivated and not have many complaints.  Sometimes adjustments are needed to get back on track with that.  That's the biggest challenge for me, I think.
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2012, 01:28:52 PM »

Score of 7-10: Your inner critic is likely dominating your experience. What is causing you the most concern right now due to your inner critic? What specific steps might you take to begin to address that concern?

Allllrighty then.  This isn't where I wanted to be but I'm not at all surprised.  I scored an 8-9.  I started a job with a new company a few months ago and have already heard my new boss say to me on more than one occasion, "Wow, you really are hard on yourself!"  So, how I come across to others, how intense I seem and how unable I am to relax and just "be", just have fun with friends and family are the things that cause me the most concern.  I really want to be able to enjoy life more and feel like there's a brick wall in my way.  I have the means, I have the interests, but it's almost as if there is a physical entity in my way preventing me from getting to where I want to go.

I've begun reading "Healing the Shame that Binds You" by John Bradshaw from reading about it on these boards (thank goodness!) and feel like I'm on the verge of some gradual but tremendous breakthroughs.  It has helped just to identify what I  now know is some intense shame that I've carried around my whole life and I've already been able to identify and start to change some behaviors of mine that I want to change.  I think it's the kind of book I'll have to read every year for the next 10 to really get the full effect and to make the positive changes I want to make.

Thanks for the poll--another unfortunate eye-opener.
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2012, 01:40:46 PM »

Score: 7-8

It was interesting to see the inner critic dominates you.  Have to think about this.  Thanks for the poll.
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2012, 04:22:33 PM »

Score: 3

Smiling (click to insert in post) I'm so happy to report that I scored a 3!  That is such a dramatic change from where I was 5 years ago.  It's been a lot of hard work, but I've really learned to mostly silence Agnes, my nasty inner critic.  

CBT - Cognitivie Behavioral Therapy - played a huge part in my recovery.  That, and hanging around with people who are mostly healthy, and supportive.  I've often thought how ridiculous it was that people who were young enough to be my children were teaching me how to "be" but I even got over that -- realizing that I am better off learning how to be healthy, regardless of who teaches me, or when.  
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C12P21
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« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2012, 02:35:39 AM »

Score: 3

My score was three, lots of work in T, lots of intentional mindful listening to the inner critic and stopping that nasty voice with loving affirmations.

CBT does work, as well as reading and reflecting. This board has helped tremendously.

C
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agast84
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2012, 07:01:35 PM »

Score: 10

Wow depending on the day 7-10/10 points.

No wonder I have such a hard time making it sometimes.

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megocean
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2012, 09:17:58 PM »

I have a lot of fluctuation in this area. Sometimes my inner critic is merely Smiling (click to insert in post) quite strong, and sometimes dominating. This, for example, is a bad self-judging week. I had to make some choices re: spending time with my BPD bf or various family members with needs, which I have been second guessing. Emotionally challenging events can make me harder on myself.
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Surnia
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: 8 y married, divorced since 2012-11-22
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« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2017, 02:45:20 PM »

Score: 5

Not a surprise for me.

This afternoon I spend some time with MOodgym, very interesting!
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“Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stand on your sacred ground.”  Brené Brown
Libra
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« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2018, 05:52:13 AM »

7.

Not a surprise. But way out of control.
No idea how to tackle this though.
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Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you. ~ Confucius.
Panda39
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What is your relationship status with them: SO and I have been together 9 years and have just moved in together this summer.
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« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2018, 07:53:17 AM »

Libra thanks for finding this and bumping it up for others to see.  I've been on these boards a while and have never seen this quiz before... .I spent a long time listening to my inner critic and that critic loomed large!  I can hear my mother's voice now 

The critic is still definitely there I scored a 5 but not as much as it used to be and I find it to be more situational and I find that I can recognize it for what it is better than I used to.

Having a critical parent who was the authority, the wise all knowing grown up, the experienced person, your teacher... .you learn and you believe what you are taught... .you internalize those messages and your self-esteem takes the hit.

For me I didn't start to come to grips with this until I was a 47 year old adult.  Up until that time I was still trying to prove to my mom that I was smart, that I was good, that I was as good as my brother, that I was worth loving. 

2009 was a pivotal year, I describe it as a breakdown that turned into breakthroughs.  I put to rest the feelings I stuffed and carried related to a relationship 20 years earlier, and I ended my co-dependent marriage to an alcoholic.  My authentic self was asserting herself. 

During this time I found my self-esteem... .self-love.  I was a wonderful person and was loved by others just the way I was.  I was not the defective, less than, not smart etc. All those negative messages I internalized.  I recognized that I would never be the person my mom wanted me to be and frankly she would never be the mother I wanted her to be... .radical acceptance.

Since being on these boards, I have been able to take this even further I have been able to recognize that my mom's criticisms of me are really about her, about how I reflect on her, about how others think of her, and I suspect she was treated by her mother much the same way she treats me (she was treated "less than" her older brother... .she is intellectual but her brother was given the better education because he was a boy for example)... .and to take the pattern back another generation, my mother's mother was the daughter of a social climber so what was the message there?  Our family isn't good enough.  It is just a pattern of dysfunction that has replayed over and over again.

The over riding message is you are not good enough.

I still have areas where this stuff will surface... .my performance at my job I have some perfectionist tendencies I want to do the job perfectly, not make mistakes (the critic will show up here) but the good news is that I have more self compassion now so if a mistake is made I can usually move on from it more quickly than I would have in the past. 

Responsibility is still a problem for me, I'm super responsible (still trying to prove my worth here).  Responsibility is good, you do what you say you are going to do, but carried to far and it becomes a burden, it can become something to hide behind, it can become a problem.

I have body image issues and have battled weight my whole life.  I lost about 65lbs in 2016, took some pictures at Christmas sent some to my mom, and she told me how beautiful I was. Nice right? No, for me it was completely invalidating.  Why was only the thin me beautiful?  Why was the whole me not beautiful?  So here I am 2 years later looking to loose the same weight I have lost over and over again.  This is something I need to get to the bottom of and continue to struggle with. (The critic will appear here and I will still listen to the critic in this place)

Interestingly, I did another quiz on here (Personality Traits or something) I scored high on OCD behaviors... .In writing this I can see that I try to control a lot.  Well there's something else to work on!    Which takes me full circle... .always trying to be better.  But is trying to be better bad?  Is having goals, trying to improve things, and do things better automatically negative? No, it's what's behind those things that make the difference.  If it is only to satisfy some ever moving target of perfection (those things the critic will whisper in your ear) then none of those things are good. If it is to progress, grow, learn, make something that improves a process, makes things better for yourself and/or others etc. those to me are the right reasons for doing something.

Wow, lots of food for thought for me here clearly something to have an awareness of.  This is one of those things that I love about this site, all the things that trigger thought and can lead to enlightenment.

Panda39
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"Have you ever looked fear in the face and just said, I just don't care" -Pink
Libra
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« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2018, 03:20:07 PM »

Always happy to help Panda wisdom. That wisdom helps so many others here on these boards as well! 

A lot of what you wrote resonates with me. I am not that far along with the radical acceptance, but it is good to know there are others who have followed the same path and that progress is possible.

I think I am no longer trying to prove my worth to my mother.
I am still trying to prove lots of things to myself though.
Given that inner critic I suspect that comes down to the same thing.

I need to start identifying that inner critic first, so I can understand how it affects me.
Only then will I be able to stifle it and turn it into something more positive and encouraging.

Libra.
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Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you. ~ Confucius.
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