This can lead to a negative self-image (often developed in childhood)

This can lead to a negative self-image (often developed in childhood)

Do you suffer from a negative self-image or do you have little self-confidence? Often a negative self-image stems from childhood, which can create a so-called inner critic; a little voice that points out everything you’re doing wrong. This article tells how the inner critic can arise and how we can calm that voice.

If the mould, the mould, has been tight and clamped or vice versa loose and without beacons, there is a good chance that the child will suffer from it later on.

The Cause of the Inner Critic

Where does that inner critic actually come from? How did it originate and what is its function? If we made it ourselves, we will have needed it. What was our intention? First of all, a caveat to our (ancestors) parents. I am older myself, so I say this to myself as well. I don’t want to slander or accuse our parents. It looks for causes.

This can lead to a negative self-image (often developed in childhood)

Each educator will try to do the best with the opportunities available to him or her. In addition, there may be consequences that were not foreseen and were not intended. They arise from difficult circumstances, limited views, unconscious actions, from outdated visions. I assume that every parent and educator tries to do the best they can with the resources given to them by the background, culture, and religion in which they were raised.

Slow growing process

Often educators who cause scars themselves suffer from a childhood in which they were victims. Morals and mores are passed down from generation to generation. In Buddhism, there is a term for this: it is called karma. The inner critic usually originates in childhood, in a slow growth process. Children are playful and do not yet know boundaries and codes of conduct. Is it okay to be strict and set clear boundaries? However, that also produces a lot of resistance and therefore crying children. Are you a little more relaxed about it? Then your house probably looks like a playground and your child does not want to try vegetables or other healthy things.

Nobody seems to have the right answer, but then there appears to be a frame of reference beneath the surface in the twilight of memory. Guidelines that are, of course, different from those of our own parents, but which, if you consider them honestly, nevertheless resemble them. Or be exactly the opposite, where nuance has also been lost.

Old family karma

This can lead to a negative self-image (often developed in childhood)

In circumstances where we can think less well, because we are tired or because things are not going as well elsewhere, we seem to be drawn straight from an old keg. Then we become just as angry or strict as our parents. Then old karma slips through our fingers. And the child is startled by the undoped, violent reaction. These old patterns, this old family karma, can get the better of the educator for many different reasons.

The first reason is the simplest: the educator does not think about it. He simply copies the behavior with which he himself was brought up. This seems like a safe choice. You don’t have to weigh it up, get confirmation from the parents and a standard is followed that is accepted in a trusted group. A straightforward and dogmatic upbringing often has unpleasant consequences.

But a loose ‘hippie culture’, where the child is mainly allowed to find out for himself, just as well leaves traces and grooves. Simply put, it comes down to this: if the mould, the mould, has been tight and clamped or vice versa loose and without beacons, there is a good chance that the child will suffer from it later on.

Circumstances in youth

This can lead to a negative self-image (often developed in childhood)

A second reason may be special circumstances in early childhood that stood in the way of a harmonious upbringing. Often it is a shortage or an excess of love and attention. Here is a summary of such situations. The list is far from exhaustive and does not intend to be, but it gives an idea of ​​how common barriers are in early childhood.

All these causes can result in the educator having less flexibility, less overview, less patience. It increases the chance of primary, brutal reactions. The educator is unable to hold back his own first impulse and pause. Over a long period of time, an educator has too little elasticity to deal with this in a well-considered manner.

For an equally long period of time, the child experiences frightening pressure, unhealthy restlessness or cold loneliness. The child does not think: what a strange family I have, how sad for my parents that they are having such a hard time. It draws a different conclusion. It thinks: it must be me that my parents are so often angry with me, I am not worthy of attention. I’m not good enough. It thinks: I am not a good child.

Negative self-image

This can lead to a negative self-image (often developed in childhood)

The thought ‘I’m not a good kid’ settles in the nerves of the brain. The signal ‘I’m not good enough, I’m not doing well’ often comes along. The brain has only created a special path for it, so that the message is a bit simpler. The child who thinks it is not right sees this confirmed everywhere. Because of his insecurity, it does indeed sometimes feel awkward. It also kind of stays in the background. That makes the path a bit wider, it grows into an easy route.

The growing child seeks companionship, but that is difficult. The other children in the class prefer to play with the popular children. The child who has now become an adolescent is limited to a friend who is also somewhat insecure himself. It regularly maneuvers into situations where proof is again provided that it is doing less well. The easy route is now paved and it has become a highway.

The adult man or woman carries a voice on his shoulder. The voice is stern and points out all flaws and shortcomings. Often he has to confirm what a klutz the adult is, how clumsy he is, and how hard-working he is. The voice immediately lets out the bitter truth: no good will ever come out of this failure. The signposts to the highway say: I’m not good enough.

Anything that conveys the “not good enough” message is routed to the highway. So also the frantic efforts to free yourself from the voice. By disapproving the vote, you are actually perpetuating it. You make even more use of the route in your brain. The harder you try to take a different route, the wider the highway will get, because it just wants to make it easy to get the message across even faster. In many therapeutic methods you are mainly taught to replace the negative message with a positive message.

Unconsciously, however, you continue to reject the person on your shoulder. You think you should have other thoughts that are correct. The figure is still rubbing his hands. The tip is also given to beat the inner critic by, for example, saying to the voice: ‘And now get out!’ But that’s just more grist to the voice mill. The question is not how to get rid of the voice, the question is how to make the highway that the voice keeps taking disappear. Only then will the negative signal become less and less self-evident and lose its power.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here