Facing Oneself

Robin SABAN UPF Peace Ambassador. robinsaban@hotmail.com

“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself…. Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility”.

Nelson Mandela

“The humble act of facing up to one’s own shortcomings”.

In order to understand our shortcomings, we need to embrace the art of self-criticism.In turn this becomes a healthy way to increase self-awareness and achieve personal growth.

However, in some societies self-criticism is typically experienced as something negative so that internal thoughts about one’s self or, more specifically, about one’s behaviors are seen as a deterrent rather than as an aid for self-improvement.When self-critical thoughts apply broadly rather than focusing on a particular behavior, they may be more likely to impact wellbeing negatively.

Typically, negative thoughts may occur when applying self-criticism, but the following thoughts should not pass your mind.

“I’m a failure, I can’t do anything right, I’m not good enough, I’ll never get better”.

Self-criticism can be beneficial when it allows for the acknowledgment and assessment of mistakes and failures or the cultivation of humility and positive change. But when one’s self-critical tendencies block the ability to thrive, any benefits of self-criticism may be overshadowed by possible harm to mental well-being.

In some humans and in some societies, self-criticism, or self-analysisis seen as a destructive act and is considered something weak. Those people believe that reviewing one’s errors in order to change certain negative habits that have been obtained in the course of time will result in a negative backlash in the society they belong to. They are afraid that one will eventually be seen as a loser.However, if we understand self-criticism as the positive act of self-improvement and as a re-evaluation for acknowledging that there is room for personal development, we will also experience a positive change in our community.

Be brave, be humble, face yourself,facing yourself will set you free, accepting your shortcomings will be good for own self-awareness, lesson learned, you are not a failure, you have gained priceless experience and you will do better in your next endeavor.


UPF Peace Ambassador. 

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