In my work as a psychotherapist I often see individuals who are plagued by a relentless measuring of themselves. These people carry on an internal dialogue whereby their critical voice is enslaving; judging and measuring most aspects of their lives. In such circumstances, these people rarely get to be present. Even when in conversation with others, they are only partly there; for a more private aspect is carrying on a self-critique at the same time.
Sometimes I learn that the inner dialogue actually speaks in the third person. Rather than thinking in terms of “I,” the voice speaks even more critically by saying”you.” When this occurs I inquire as to who is actually speaking. There is literally a measuring voice in many people that becomes the critical third party. Sometimes this simply replicates the childhood experience of the critical parent. The greater problem is that the emotional injury incurred in childhood now becomes habituated by the very victim themselves.
You can’t be in two places at the same time (except in cases of quantum entanglement) and you can’t engage two thoughts simultaneously. Every moment in which you measure or judge yourself is a moment you didn’t choose a better and healthier option. These are missed moments of valuable life experiences. If a significant percentage of your thoughts are self-critical, then indeed you have scripted that life experience for yourself. You are missing the rich experience of joyful life. Learning how to liberate yourself from this groove of negativity is altogether achievable once you set the intention.