Is It Good To Question Yourself?

Is it good to question yourself?

Have you ever stopped to observe how you speak to yourself? We all have conversations with ourselves constantly. Sometimes this internal dialogue comes in the form of constructive criticism and allows us to improve. However, on many occasions it is presented as a cruel and exaggerated judgment that causes us suffering.

So, is it good to question yourself? As is often the case when we talk about issues related to human beings, the answer is complex. Depends. The act of questioning oneself can have many nuances and it is important that we can talk about them in detail.

In this article we will see what self-criticism is and what are the possible benefits of questioning ourselves. However, we will also explain what dangers or challenges may arise when doing so. Finally, we will see some strategies to manage to question ourselves in a healthy and enriching way.

Forms of Self-Criticism

Before talking about benefits and challenges, it is interesting that we define the concept of self-criticism—or self-questioning—. In general terms, it is considered to be the ability to analyze and evaluate one’s own behaviors, thoughts and emotions.

It is necessary to take into account that the quality and form of said self-assessment can have an important impact on the mental and emotional health of the person. In this sense, many psychology professionals consider that there is positive and negative self-criticism.

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Positive self-criticism

Positive self-criticism, or better known as constructive, is that in which personal analysis and the assessment made of it provide growth to the person. For this to happen, it is essential that the process be carried out in the most objective and respectful way possible.

Negative self-criticism

Negative, or destructive, self-criticism would be that in which self-analysis is carried out through excessive judgment and criticism. This type of internal dialogue usually leads to paralysis, blockage and, above all, great suffering.. If it persists over time, it can have serious consequences for the person’s mental health.

Benefits of questioning yourself

Having the ability to observe our own thoughts, emotions and how these factors interfere with the way we act allows us to become aware of ourselves. Only in this way can we assess whether we feel consistent with our actions or whether we consider that we need to change something.

When self-criticism is done from a place that is respectful of one’s own person, it can bring great benefits. Therefore it is considered that It is constructive. What’s more, it is defined as an essential aspect for personal growth. Without a doubt, it provides mental flexibility and encourages us to adapt more easily to changes.

Furthermore, questioning our own thoughts or decisions can lead us to have the need to inform ourselves. In this way, it is easier to make decisions that are more aligned with our needs and values.

Some of the benefits obtained from constructive self-criticism are:

Dangers and challenges of self-questioning

Unfortunately, most people will be able to identify various moments throughout their lives when they have treated themselves cruelly. That is, with cruel, severe, derogatory language. In fact, when we are asked if we would speak to another person the way we speak to ourselves, the answer is usually a resounding no.

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This type of language and constant questioning of one’s own person can have a serious impact on self-esteem, self-image, self-concept and, without a doubt, self-efficacy and self-reinforcement. Besides, can lead to paralysis by analysis: thinking and criticizing ourselves excessively can generate indecision, greater insecurity, blockage and inaction.

All of this, without a doubt, can trigger anxious symptoms and a high level of stress in the person. Nowadays, the harmful effects of maintaining high levels of stress over time are widely known.

Self-criticism and mental health

When the way we address ourselves is self-destructive and based on excessive criticism or criticism that is poorly adjusted to reality, we suffer greatly. So much so that there are studies that have found that destructive self-criticism is one of the biggest indicators of self-harm.

Furthermore, it has also been observed in various studies that destructive self-criticism is one of the most common factors among various mental pathologies. And, if that were not enough, it is considered one of the factors that can most hinder or interfere with their intervention and treatment.

How can we question ourselves to do it in a healthy way?

We have already seen previously that constructive self-criticism can provide multiple benefits. Sometimes the change from one internal discourse to the other can result if we are not used to it. It is normal and will require practice for a while. The main factor to cultivate is self-compassion to be able to treat ourselves respectfully..

Many people make the mistake of confusing self-compassion – which in a very reductionist way we could say would be talking to ourselves as we would talk to a loved one: with respect – with falling into excessive excuses. That would also not allow us to learn from our mistakes and mobilize for future occasions.

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In order to integrate painful experiences, it is necessary Work on also integrating our strengths and valuing everything that we do have and contribute.. Below are some aspects that can be useful on this path: