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Feeling “good enough” has nothing to do with anyone or anything else. It has everything to do with your own acceptance of yourself. Stop rejecting and abandoning yourself.

Self-Criticism and Childhood Trauma

Self-criticism leads to rejecting yourself. Who taught you that you need to be perfect? That you need to be a certain way? Who put this anxiety in your mind, where did you learn this? Family? Society? Friends? Social media? Maybe you were told that you weren’t good enough, or shown that by someone else’s actions towards you. When people who are supposed to care for you put you down and make you feel small, they abandon you, instead of caring about you. What’s “normal” for children is what they see, regardless of if it’s actually healthy or good for them. Experiencing the trauma of neglect or forced perfectionism as a child follows you into adulthood. Most of the time, we develop our inner voice from how caregivers speak to us as children. So if the people around you were abusive and cruel, odds are you will continue being abusive and cruel to yourself as you grow up. This, of course, can lead to anxiety and depression.

Addressing Perfectionism in Anxiety

Childhood trauma may have taught you to be your own harshest critic. Once your brain is taught to think a certain way, it is hard to rewire your thinking and start being patient and kind with yourself. While it may be difficult, please know that it is not impossible. You have the power to stop this vicious cycle. You do not have to continue to abandon yourself. Realize that every time you judge, criticize and hate yourself, you continue abandoning yourself just like they did before. You are more than enough. Accept yourself, don’t reject the parts of you that have already been rejected by others before. Understanding that there is no requirement to be perfect in life can help you with being patient with yourself, while you work on nervous system regulation, and combating perfectionism leading to  anxiety and depression.

Compassion and Anxiety

Compassion for yourself is going to be a must as you go on your healing journey. The self critical aspect of you will yell at you many times. It will whisper words of shame, self-hate, and despair. This too, is an attempt at self-protection. But what you will need is self-compassion, more than anything else. Compassion is observing yourself and others mindfully, without negative or critical judgment. We are all human. No one is perfect. Compassion is being transparent and accepting of your humanity and that of others. With trauma, the protective parts of you believe that you are only safe if you remind yourself of your mistakes, be critical and harsh with yourself, etc. Healing means relearning this lesson: learn to think about yourself and your struggles without hate. Us, human beings learn poorly when we are anxious. Our nervous system needs to feel safe, grounded and calm for us to learn and grow. So please don’t continue the cycle of self-hate, criticism, judgment and punishment.

Healing Traumas

You may have been taught to be your own harshest critic, but the cycle of trauma ends with you. You have the power to stop abandoning yourself and showing patience and compassion towards yourself. If you need help with this, that is perfectly fine. You can’t expect to have tools that you were never provided with. Reach out to a therapist in your area today to begin your healing journey.