Are You Being Too Self-Critical? [QUIZ]

Are You Being Too Self-Critical?

There´s nothing wrong with always trying to do your best and be the best person you can be. In many ways, it is actually quite admirable.

After all, if we want to do something better the next time, it only makes sense to evaluate what might have happened when things have gone wrong.

At the same time, if you tend to be a perfectionist like me, it can be easy to become too self-critical.

Excessive self-criticism hurts your self-esteem and confidence. It can get in the way of your success and damage the way you see yourself and the world around you.

Do you sometimes have the feeling that you are just too critical of yourself?

Let´s test it and see…

Grab a piece of paper; write down the numbers 1 to 12, read the questions and answer with a simple yes or no based on how they apply to you in your life.

1. Do you often feel paralyzed?

One sign that you’re overly critical toward yourself is a lack of action. If you’ve been stuck in the same situation for an extended period of time, chances are good that you are too hard on yourself. Otherwise, you’d be out there taking care of business and making positive changes to your life.

2. Do you struggle with forgiving others?

When you find it hard to forgive yourself, you will struggle with forgiving others. When you can let go and forgive yourself, you can do the same for the other people in your life.

3. Are you seldom pleased with your accomplishments?

For example, you feel more annoyed with the fact that you didn´t win the race than that you were able to shave 10 minutes off your best 10K time. Graduating from medical school is all fine and good but it really bothers you that it wasn´t Harvard medical school you attended.

4. Do you wish you could be more assertive?

You have to be comfortable with yourself to feel comfortable with asserting yourself. Assertiveness also brings the risk of rejection. Being too self-critical can increase the fear of rejection from others.

5. Are you constantly saying bad things to and about yourself?

A little negative self-talk is normal. On the other hand, a constant barrage of self-criticism is highly damaging. Imagine telling your child that they can’t do anything right and should give up trying. It sounds crazy when viewed from that perspective, now doesn´t it?

6. Are you a chronic underachiever?

Underachieving is both a symptom and a cause of self-criticism. Consistent underachieving is a call to action!

7. Have you noticed that others feel comfortable being critical of you as well?

The average person isn’t comfortable criticizing others. However, when others repeatedly hear you criticize yourself, they tend to find it easier to join in on that criticism.

8. Do criticize yourself in general terms, rather than for specific events?

There’s a difference between telling yourself that you’re not a good tennis player and telling yourself that you’re not good at anything. General criticism is false and highly damaging.

A lack of success at a particular activity doesn’t make you flawed at everything. That´s just not logical or realistic.

9. Do you keep your opinions to yourself, more often than not?

While you certainly have every reason to avoid telling your neighbor that her new dress makes her look fat, you should have no trouble at all sharing your opinion of a film you just saw. Feeling uncomfortable about freely sharing your opinions often comes from a fear of saying the wrong thing and being judged by others.  

10. Do you spend a lot of time dwelling on your mistakes?

For example, instead of a short period of self-reflection where you focus on what you have learned and readjust your plan of action, do you beat yourself up and brood over your inability to ever do anything right?

11. Do you struggle with asking for help?

Asking for help shouldn´t be difficult – in fact, the more help the better! What do you think makes this such a struggle? Are you afraid others will see you as ineffective and incapable? If so, you are definitely being too critical of yourself.

12. Do you find it hard to give yourself a single compliment?

Everyone is good at something. Or maybe you know you’re good at a few things but don’t think you deserve a compliment. Either way, don´t be so hard on yourself. Take pride in what you do well and work on becoming better at the things don´t. If it´s not something you really want to get good at, let it go and move on. The choice is always yours.

So, how did you do?

Count the number of times you answered YES and check out the scoring below:

0-4 Congratulations! It looks like you have a pretty balanced and realistic view of yourself and your abilities. I´d say you tend not to take yourself too seriously, and that a good thing! 😉

5-9 You expect quite a bit of yourself and seem to have a tendency towards perfectionism. If this sounds like you, you might find these helpful:

10-12 You are sabotaging yourself by being overly self-critical; you are limiting both your success and your mood. Realize how much you harm yourself with self-criticism. It is important to learn from our mistakes and apply the understanding with enthusiasm.

If you feel like you could use some help with this, let´s talk. 

About the Author Jan Marie Mueller

Jan Marie Mueller is founder of the inspirational blog ThinkBrilliantly and The Brilliance Community, a free Facebook group dedicated to empowering women to let their inner brilliance shine! Her mission is to help women everywhere shift the way they think about themselves, their world and those around them so they have the confidence to do, be and have what they want most in life!

follow me on: