Canceling oneself as a person: where does this attitude come from and how to eradicate it?

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Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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There is nothing worse than canceling yourself out as a person. The person who cancels himself believes he is not worthy of love and respect because he does not give himself the love and respect he needs. He doesn't trust his abilities.

A person who cancels himself belittles himself, believes he has nothing to give to others or to the world. She doesn't have the strength to fight for herself because she gave up early. He thinks he is not worth enough.



The person who cancels himself is unable to assert his assertive rights, so he ends up trapped in relationships of emotional dependence in which he is manipulated or mistreated. With extremely fragile self-esteem and a ruthless inner critic, that person cannot lead a full life in which to feel self-satisfied.

The origin of the relentless inner critic of the canceled person

The person who cancels himself has a profound self-esteem problem. Self-esteem reflects how much we love and value ourselves. However, it is not a static formation, but tends to fluctuate throughout life and throughout the day as well. When we do something well we feel we can do everything, when we make a mistake we feel useless.

Our self-esteem fluctuates because the feelings we have towards ourselves also depend on the circumstances and our performance. Self-esteem depends to a large extent on how our inner critic assumes setbacks and failures. In some people that inner voice acts as a kind of motivator that helps them maintain solid self-esteem despite mistakes, while in others it acts as a ruthless critic who covers them with scolding and insults.

The critical inner voice is an integrated and relatively coherent pattern of thoughts towards ourselves and others. That inner critic begins to take shape in our early life experiences. In fact, it ends up affecting our identity. Just as the experiences of love, warmth and security contribute to cultivating a positive image of ourselves; negative experiences of criticism, punishment, and blame feed a relentless inner critic.



This critical thinking model is an attempt to make sense of the painful experiences we have lived, our setbacks and failures. From these setbacks we draw conclusions about who we are, how much we are worth and how others see us. The person who cancels himself thinks that all the fault is his, regardless of contextual factors. Thus, he develops a hypercritical and self-limiting attitude that feeds low self-esteem.

The curious side is that many of the critical attitudes we assume tend to stem from negative attitudes taken by our parents, teachers and / or authority figures, as well as from blaming interactions with siblings or peers. Disdainful parents can make us feel a burden and that we don't know how to do anything, while overly critical parents can make us feel imperfect and lead us to think that nothing we do will be good enough.

As we grow up, these attitudes remain in our mind, forming our inner critic. We introject the pessimistic and demoralizing discourse of others, assuming it as our own. In fact, it is likely that many of the phrases we repeat to ourselves when we complain about a mistake or a failure are not ours, but come from our childhood or adolescence.

A ruthless inner critic is usually the accumulation of negative evaluations that we have received over the course of our life. Crediting that toxic speech and thinking it is real can lead someone to annihilate themselves as a person.

The inner critic's trap: a vicious circle of doubts and insecurities

The person who cancels himself usually gives up control to his inner critic. Whenever that critical voice is activated it raises doubts, throws poison darts, and makes caustic assessments that would shake even the strongest self-esteem.


When an overruled person looks in the mirror before leaving the house, for example, their inner critic might say, "You look terrible, how are you dressed !?" Before presenting a project he will say: “Don't try to make an effort, it will be useless. You won't be able to do it right ".


Of course, the prospect of failure often turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The inner critic activates doubts, insecurities and anxieties, so when the person makes a mistake, he continues his attack: “I told you! You're not worth anything. "

This inner dialogue, repeated day after day, ad nauseam, can lead someone to cancel themselves as a person, making them believe that they are not really worth anything or that they do not deserve to be loved. That pounding voice in his head becomes the only reality, so there comes a point where the undone person doesn't even question the veracity of those claims or consider changing them.

In reality, the inner critic's trap is to return that person, in a certain way, to his childhood or to those moments of failure, vulnerability and helplessness in which he did not have the psychological tools to defend himself and simply accepted the negative feedback of the authority figures. .

In practice, the inner critic makes him relive the rejection and criticism, activating feelings that prevent him from analyzing from a logical and mature perspective what is happening. This closes the person who cancels himself in a cycle that leads him to cancel himself even more.

How to stop annihilating yourself as a person?

The whole process that triggers the inner critic to cause someone to cancel themselves is usually unconscious. The person is not aware that the criticism he addresses to himself is not his own, nor is he aware of the primary feelings that are triggered. Thus the vicious circle is perpetuated.


The good news is that understanding that mechanism is the first step to breaking it. There are several techniques of cognitive defusion to free us from our "inner dictator". A good exercise is to look for the source of the negative criticisms we address or to go back to find out who made us feel this way. It is not a question of looking for culprits who take charge of our insecurities, but of breaking the influence that these authoritarian figures continue to have on our thinking, our decisions and our behaviors.


From that moment we can begin to rebuild our inner dialogue. The second step is to build affirmations that help us achieve our goals in life and value ourselves, rather than annihilating us as people. To do this, one exercise is to carefully analyze our most common critical statements and ask ourselves: Does this help me achieve my goals? If the answer is no, we need to replace it with a statement that helps us grow, that motivates us to make our dreams come true.

Last but not least, we must carry out this process of restructuring the inner critic starting with compassion. To deactivate a ruthless inner critic, it is not necessary to fight it, but only to detect when it activates, to understand where it comes from, to separate and to face the behavior it perpetuates. And we can't do all of this without the third step: self-compassion.

Taking it out on the voice that criticizes us makes no sense. Instead, it is more helpful to see ourselves as a small child who needs understanding and affection. Self-compassion involves being kind to ourselves, especially when we make mistakes. It involves being understanding, connecting with our suffering, and redirecting goodness to us.

Self-compassion allows us to relate to our inner critic with empathy because it helps us to understand that he is not an enemy, but wants to "help us", only that he does not know or has not learned to do it correctly. So we can get to know each other and become the person we want and can be.

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