Do you Criticize or Observe?
“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
~ LOUISE HAY ~
Have you ever wondered how to break free from the habit of being overly critical?
How can you tap into the power of observation and cultivate a curious mindset?
It’s time to embark on a transformative journey that will unleash your true potential and enhance your communication, leadership, and influencing skills. Let’s explore how you can shift from being a critic to becoming an observer.
- But isn’t criticism necessary for improvement? While constructive feedback has its place, continuous criticism can be disheartening and hinder growth. Embracing curiosity allows for a more open and objective approach to learning and self-improvement. And it creates a space for your to explore and be innovative without the weight of judgment.
- I don’t know where to start. Begin by investigating your self-talk and identifying patterns of constant self-criticism. Take note of moments when you excessively worry about others’ opinions. Becoming aware is the first step toward change. When you understand your triggers and recurring thoughts, you can prepare yourself to become flexible and adjust accordingly.
- How can I accept my flaws? Remember, nobody is perfect. Embrace your unique imperfections and see them as strengths. Instead of looking at yourself as flawed which causes shame, recognize that these blemishes contribute to your growth and resilience. When you practice self-care, self-affirmations, gratitude, and forgiveness you cultivate self-acceptance.
- Is mindfulness really effective? Absolutely! Ground yourself in the present moment through practices like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation. Mindfulness allows you to observe without judgment, fostering curiosity and opening up new perspectives. This shift in your perception allows you to move from criticism to curiosity and engage with the world around you in a more meaningful and wonderful way.
EXAMPLES OF EVALUATION CONTRAST: Moving from observation to criticism. The emotional tone of observation is neutral. Observations help you make well-informed decisions. However, when you are judging there is a comparison and the underlying tone is unpleasant (negative). You will find your thoughts take the form of fear, doubt, hostility, control, or shame. And it is this attaching of negative feelings to an observation that turns it into a criticism. Here are a few examples that highlight the difference between observation and criticism:
Observation – She/He looks amazing.
Criticism – She/He dresses entirely too flashy.
Observation – I am aging gracefully.
Criticism – Getting old is not attractive.
Observation – WOW, She/He is so well-spoken.
Criticism – OMG, I can’t talk after her/him.
Observation – My report was late with an error.
Criticism – I am not good enough.
Observation – I am feeling disappointed.
Criticism – I shouldn’t feel any negativity.
Take time to make note of the impact your Observations vs Criticisms are having on your thoughts and decisions. And engage the tools for transformation below.
TOOLS FOR TRANSFORMATION:
- Explore Your Self-Talk: Take time to observe your thoughts about yourself. Keep a journal and track instances of self-criticism. This self-awareness will help you break free from the trap of overthinking and seeking validation from others. Notice the language you use and the tone of your inner dialogue. Challenge negative self-talk by replacing it with empowering and compassionate thoughts.
- Accept the Messy Part: Embrace the fact that imperfection is part of being human. Celebrate your flaws and weaknesses as unique attributes that contribute to your personal growth and resilience. Instead of striving for perfection, focus on self-care, gratitude, and surrounding yourself with positive influences. Acceptance of your whole self allows for greater self-love and a healthier mindset.
- Ground Yourself with Mindfulness: Practice being present in the moment. Use deep breathing techniques and engage in activities like yoga and meditation to foster a curious mindset. When you’re fully present, you can observe without judgment and truly appreciate the richness of your experiences. Shift your perspective from labeling and criticizing to genuine curiosity about the world around you.
BOOK Recommendations (click title for more details):
- Radical Curiosity: Questioning Commonly Held Beliefs to Imagine Flourishing Futures
- The Power of Positive Living
ENGAGING YOUR CURIOUS OBSERVER:
When you adopt a curious mindset, your whole being transforms. You relax, you breathe deeply, and you engage more authentically with others. Here are seven superb tips to shift from being a critical judger to a curious observer:
- Be Childlike in Your Curiosity: Embrace the wonder and curiosity of a child, seeing every experience as new and full of potential. Approach situations with a fresh perspective, free from preconceived notions and judgments. Allow yourself to explore and ask questions without fear of being perceived as naive.
- View Life as a Luscious Lesson: Shift your perspective and see challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Instead of being discouraged by setbacks, approach them with curiosity and a desire to understand the lessons they hold. Every experience has the potential to teach us valuable insights about ourselves and the world.
- Seek Lessons in Every Experience: Ask yourself, “What am I here to learn from this experience? What am I here to teach?” By seeking knowledge and understanding, you not only expand your own horizons but also have the opportunity to share your wisdom with others. Remember, we often teach what we need to learn ourselves.
- Infuse Playfulness into Your Journey: Find the irony and humor in challenging situations. Playfulness lightens the mood and invites curiosity. Approach difficulties with a sense of lightness and a willingness to explore unconventional solutions. Playfulness opens up new pathways of creativity and problem-solving.
- Cultivate Compassion: Extend compassion to yourself and others. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to your best friend. Recognize that everyone has their struggles, and empathy can bridge the gap between criticism and curiosity. When you approach others with compassion, you create an environment that nurtures growth and understanding.
- Take Action with Curiosity: Move beyond analysis paralysis and take intentional actions. Curiosity alone is not enough; it needs to be paired with a willingness to explore and engage with the world. By stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing new experiences, you deepen your understanding and expand your horizons.
- Connect and Acknowledge Others: Foster connections by reaching out to others and engaging in genuine conversations. Ask open-ended questions and listen attentively to their perspectives. By acknowledging the value they bring to your life, you nurture a sense of curiosity and appreciation for the diverse experiences of those around you.
Remember, life becomes extraordinary when you shift from critic to observer. Embrace the power of observation, ignite your inner curious observer, and unlock a world of possibilities.
Are you ready to embark on this transformative journey? Embrace the shift from being a critical judger to becoming a curious observer, and watch as your life flourishes with new insights and opportunities. Embrace the power of observation and curiosity, and let your true potential shine!
Wishing you an incredible journey of self-discovery and growth.
To read more of Meshell’s inspiring Blogs – Click Here