For some reason, we are truly convinced that if we criticize ourselves, the criticism will lead to change. If we are harsh, we believe we will end up being kind. If we shame ourselves, we believe we will end up loving ourselves. It has never been true, not for a moment, that shame leads to love. Only love leads to love.
I have been hard on myself ever since I can remember. Since I was young, I held myself to extremely high standards and would feel terrible when I didn’t live up to them. If I made even the smallest mistake, I would continually replay it in my head and say terrible things to myself. When I started college and then progressed to early on in my career, it all began to heighten. I had more pressure so I became harder and harder on myself with the passing years. It became something that was normal to me and I didn’t realize just how toxic it was to myself until very recently.
I think we all suffer from this from time to time, but it’s so unhealthy and we don’t even realize it. Learning how to stop being hard on myself is something that I will most likely never get over, but I have learned how to cope with it in a much more positive manner. Here are the tips that I have used to help me overcome being too hard on myself.
1. Listen to how you talk to yourself
Whenever I would make a mistake the first thing I would do was say something negative to myself like that was so stupid and I can’t believe I missed that or he/she definitely wouldn’t have made that mistake. I was so mean to myself. Nothing was ever solved by me being mean to myself. All it did was make things worse.
Listen to the words you say to yourself. Are you being unnecessarily mean to yourself? Would you talk like that to your best friend?
I found this powerful video on two women who wrote out a list of all the things they disliked about themselves. They sat across from each other and instead of saying these things to themselves, they directed the comments at the other person. The women realized how mean these things were to say to the other person and realized just how bad it was to say to themselves. Think about this video the next time you say negative things to yourself. Ask yourself if you would say those things to your best friend.
2. Get honest with your feelings
Ask yourself why you are feeling so bad about yourself. Is it because you don’t feel confident in yourself? Are you comparing yourself to other people? One of these is most likely the culprit. Try to work on improving your self-esteem by following some of these tips:
-Talk with a trusted friend, family member, co-worker, therapist, ect.
-Make a list of things you love about yourself
-Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have
I used to keep my mistakes to myself and I never wanted anyone to know. I soon realized that beating myself up will only hurt me. I personally found it extremely helpful to talk about my mistakes with people who were close to me and I realized that everyone makes mistakes. My mom and I actually laughed about our previous mistakes and how we found out later that what happened turned out to be no big deal. You’ll find it does wonders for your self-esteem when you know you aren’t alone.
3. Think about the positives
Will your mistake really matter in a week? A year? 10 years? Most likely not. You can always learn something from your mistakes and you can also help other people not make the same mistakes as you. There are always positives to making mistakes. Instead of being upset, try to tell yourself that now you know the process a little better or now you know that you won’t make that mistake again. When you take the blame off yourself and really see the situation for what it really is, you can fix the problem sooner and move on.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post! My most recent video is below which goes along with this post. I talk about how to accept your true unique self. Catch you all next week for a new blog and video!
Have a great rest of your week.