This quote really gets to the futility of self-criticism for me.
I don’t know about you but when I give myself a hard time it’s never resulted in anything but feeling worse about myself. Purely on the level of brain science Tim Bronson is so right about ‘giving yourself a hard time just trains yourself to give yourself a hard time’ because we know that brain neurons that repeatedly fire together wire together.
The more we repeat something the more strongly wired it becomes in our brain, increasing the likelihood we’ll repeat it. Which is why it’s also so hard to break the habit of giving ourselves a hard time.
It’s taken me years to become my own best friend and one of the reasons was because I had to work with a brain that was strongly wired for self-criticism. I found this really helpful to keep in mind as I journeyed from self-criticism to self-compassion. It helped me understand it wasn’t my personal failing that it was so hard. It was how my brain was wired. This helped me take it all less personally and find more patience and compassion for myself.
We now know (thank goodness) that we can rewire our brain. With compassionate self awareness we can self correct our inner voice to play the role of a supportive friend. Then when we notice some personal failing we feel safe and accepted enough to both see ourselves clearly and make the changes needed for us to be healthier and happier.
Has this been your experience?
With great warmth