Feeling critical or judgmental of ourselves or others is a very damaging emotion. It creates a sense of separateness and a fear of experimentation. When we are critical of ourselves, we become tense and edgy. When we are critical of others, we start to feel superior. None of this nourishes a creative interconnection.

Criticism of our behavior can be helpful under certain circumstances: (a) We have asked for feedback. (b) The feedback is specific and tells us both what we did well and how we might improve. (c) The feedback is focused on behavior, not our character.

Try this for a week: Each day notice one time when you speak critically of yourself. Reword what you are saying so that you thank yourself for being open to learning. How does that feel?