Call Us (480) 860-0400

10250 North 92nd Street #301
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

overcoming harsh self criticism

We create our lives with every thought, feeling, opinion and conviction we hold. Whether conscious, semi-conscious, unconscious or denied, every level of our awareness has an effect. While most of us would agree that we affect the course of our lives, we shy away from acknowledging the extent of our power.

We shrink from the reality because we are reluctant to accept that we have a hand in negative and painful events. In fact, such realization can be the source of self-punishment and blame that is terribly counterproductive. Harsh self-criticism is itself a negative emotion that blocks us from creating a joyful life. It is an example of the underlying conflicting beliefs and feelings that we have about almost everything. As a result, what we create is equally confused and contradictory.

reduce self criticism

For an example, parents want their children to mature and successfully launch their own lives. Yet, not really. When the time comes, many want desperately for their children to stay dependent and close to home. I could argue that helicopter parents actively sabotage the maturity of their children.

Such split intentions may also occur in unsatisfying relationships. One partner (or both) want the relationship to improve while simultaneously convinced the other person can’t and won’t ever change.

Even having friends in for dinner or taking a vacation can be fraught with apprehension as well as pleasure. When events so minor as these give rise to confusion, the larger creation of our lives is bound to be a muddle.

Principle #1: Our conscious and unconscious must be in harmony

what is self criticism psychology

The universe is sensitive and malleable, constantly molded by our thoughts and intentions. For all we set our positive purposes, we often neglect the unconscious negative forces within us. It’s like the corpse in the corner of the room. No one acknowledges the body in spite of the horrible smell.

Only by bringing everything we think, believe, and want into conscious awareness can we can see the disorderly and destructive intentions we hold. Awareness provides us the opportunity to confront, examine and resolve what is untrue in our beliefs and to recover the truth.

The destructive tendencies that play havoc with our lives are the deep-seated convictions such as, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘no one will ever love me’, or ‘I don’t know how.’ Working to dissolve these takes patience. Their dissolution brings the inner and outer into harmony and expands our potential for creation. 

Principle #2: What we wish to create must be clear – and clearly stated

managing self critical thoughts

Creation consists of both active and passive elements. What is hidden within us affects what shows up around us. By setting a conscious one-pointed purpose, we imprint the subconscious with the same goal.

This process succeeds to the extent that the subconscious is at peace with conscious awareness. That is, while you may never eliminate an embedded negative belief, coming to know it like the back of your hand makes room for what you truly want to sink into the unconscious. And when you run into more formerly unconscious but now conscious negative blocks, you circle around to work with them.

Principle #3: Your soul must be at peace with what you desire

too self critical

It is easy to confuse a symbol of what the soul seeks with the actual goal. For example, I’ve heard individuals say that if they can create anything, they want to create wealth. That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with money. The real goal, however, is more likely a desire to feel personally empowered, to respect and trust oneself. As a symbol, money appears to hold the promise of empowerment, but the soul is not so easily fooled. We must find the essence of our desire, the soul’s true goal.

Then the soul takes precedence, leading the conscious self to take actions appropriate to fulfill the goal. It is important to listen for Guidance and follow the guidance we receive. Always open, letting the universe move us to reach a deeper level of the soul’s fulfillment. When you doubt your worthiness or ability to achieve your heart’s desire, you must return to consider what conflict is holding you back.

Principle #4: Trust

Self criticism and depression challenges

The inseparability of the conscious and unconscious mind with the soul requires that, having done all there is to do, now we trust. We allow what we seek to unfold in its right way and time. This can be quick and smooth or feel more like the turning of an enormous ocean vessel. Set in motion, the process requires time in which we patiently stay the course.

When you are clear about the goal and the soul is on board, you will feel your desire and the outcome as joyful, peaceful, and pleasurable. You won’t be filled with self-justification or fantasy, neither of which are signs of the soul’s fulfillment. At this stage it is worthwhile to sit with the sensations of joy and pleasure to come.

Primary Principle: Meditate

Following guidance means we must be able to distinguish between guidance from the Higher Self and the ego’s drive to force what it wants. And the best way to learn the distinction is through meditation. In fact, meditation is at the heart of the entire process. Meditation allows us to see our false assumptions and harsh self-judgments. It is the means to work through our splits and come into harmony. Meditation gives the soul a voice and guides our daily activity to achieve the soul’s true purpose, a life worth living, a life of joy.



If you are looking for ways to work through challenges around self-criticism and would like to develop more harmony and peace in your life, reach out to Dr. Egli today to set up an in person meeting or phone meeting. Call (480) 860-0400 or submits a contact request.


Read Related Articles:








Live Joyfully:

Enjoy 3 Free Bonus Meditations!
Sign Up Today

Meditate Right Now

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Meditation: Sandra Egli
Music: Torey Ronhovde

The wisdom of a thousand generations guides you today. Only listen. Without a sound their voices reverberate in your cells. Settle within and choose your path.

All of us come from strength, fortitude, perseverance. No matter how difficult their lives, our ancestors made it through and passed on life for the next generation. Over and over, until it came to you. The intelligence that guided them has also come to you.

To Thine own Self be true.

If I could present you with a single blessing, it would be the gift of Mindfulness. Awareness of yourself: body, emotions, and self-talk, all the time. Our immediate experience is the ultimate exploration that only grows richer with time. What we do or don't do, and the roots of our behavior, are accessible with the simple practice of noticing immediate experience. It is this practice that makes it possible to know and be true to ourselves.


Sandra's graceful way of listening & non-judgmental demeanor allowed me to open up effortlessly. I was certain, as I left her office, that I had received precisely the healing I needed.

Female client, age 44
Phoenix, Arizona