While I'm thinking about whether criticism or kindness is the better internal motivator, the dogs are...surprise!...sleeping!
You won't hear them saying, gosh i'm a lazy sod. I should get off my couch and do something. No, they're thinking, will she just stop clacking on that keyboard so I can sleep peacefully.
Someone at The Conversation, in talking about the criticism heaped on the musicians in Whiplash, shared this amazing TED talk by Dr Kristen Nuff.
Dr Nuff disses the self-esteem movement because in order to have it you have to feel special and perform above average. It's also produced the highest rate of narcissism ever.
She says to get off that treadmill of having to be better than others in order to feel good about ourselves, we need 3 things. 1) Relate to ourselves kindly. 2) Find a common humanity with others rather than separating ourselves and 3) Practice mindfulness.
As for the old belief that we have to be critical of ourselves and others in order to motivate ourselves. Research says the opposite. The amygdala perceives self-criticism as a threat to our self-concept. The sabre-toothed tiger is near. So it closes our brain down and enters flight or fight.
On the other hand, self- compassion unleashes oxytocin, makes us feel safe and comforted and then we do our best:)
Maybe the dogs have it right. They do seem to have a good life.