How to Deal with Criticism: Changing What’s In Your Head
Today I woke wondering why I have this mental habit of trying to get everything done all at once or in a very short time period. It is as if my mind refuses to live in a sequential, time-based, rhythmic world. I have trouble doing sequences-based tasks like following recipes or sticking to an exercise program whose increments are gradual. What I discovered, when doing the internal processing work, the kind you do with NLP, is that when I do sequential work or try to do it, my mind runs into the fear of criticism. This is what happens.
- My mind imagines being criticized by someone, not too dissimilar to what would happened in real life, and then it automatically turns up the volume until it is like screaming. To avoid actual screaming I do everything I can to not let it happen by trying to get done all of my tasks before any criticism can occur. It isn’t a very effective pattern.
- There is a lot of tension connected with trying to get things done quickly rather than taking time and doing it in a more relaxed manner.
The change takes place when I go back in my mind to various times in my life such as entering school and then replace the screaming with a sweet encouraging voice. It has a kind of calming effect that relaxes the tension. In turns out that I have had a lot of time periods where in my life where I do the strategy of raising the volume of the criticism.
Beyond the change of screaming to sweetness in the quality of the voice, I also noticed that I easily held on stubbornly to negative feelings against those who did the criticizing as if they were now eternal life long enemies. Needless to say with the screaming and the holding onto negative feelings, my ego was in a huge over-reaction out of protection. To let go of the negative feelings toward the other people the thing that seems to help after I have the sweet voice implanted in my mind is to have a lot of understanding for the trauma that the criticizers have been through.
The combination of understanding and changing the screaming to sweetness allows the sequence of action to just happen much more easily.