Are you constantly being hard on yourself? Saying things to yourself like… “you can’t do that!”, “you keep making the wrong decisions over and over again”, “everyone else knows what they’re doing, why don’t you know?”. Are these the words in your head when you are hard on yourself?
Does this voice sound familiar? Self-criticism can often be healthy, as it is a sign of self-awareness. It can help you find ways to improve, build stronger relationships and grow.
First of all, when your own self-criticism gets too harsh, it can be just the opposite! Too much self-criticism does not lead to self-improvement. Instead it wears down your confidence and your peace of mind down. This makes it much harder for you to achieve your goals.
Therefore it’s time for you to stop being hard on yourself, and take a stand for being kinder to yourself. You will find you will be kinder to others and others will in turn be kinder to you.
Why are you being hard on yourself?
It is natural to experience doubt and strive to improve. When you are constantly thinking badly of yourself, being hard on yourself all the time, this can negatively impact your well-being.
Consequently, you don’t appreciate judgement and criticism from someone who is bullying or harassing a friend. So it’s obvious why self-criticism can be just as harmful, when you are constantly being hard on yourself.
What’s worse is we are often our own worst critic. No one knows you better than yourself. So what causes us to be so hard on ourselves?
Consider the negative voice in your head and the things you say to you. Where does this voice come from? Is it actually yours? Or perhaps it is the voice of your Parents? Your Partner? Your best Friend? Or your Peers?
It is time to learning from the past. This lack of kindness for yourself may be related to past emotional experiences. Children especially are more prone to holding onto our criticism. They are more likely to feel insecure and losing confidence in themselves.
We set high standards for ourselves and others. If these standards are not met, we beat ourselves up. This leads to perfectionism.
How to Stop being hard on yourself
So what steps can you take towards embracing a more positive mindset? Here are a few tips to get you thinking:
- Self-Awareness and Self-Kindness
Self-awareness is at the root of all self-criticism, so you must also be aware of when you are being unkind to yourself.
Compliment yourself when you do something well. Acknowledge when you achieve a goal, even a small one.
Do an Appreciation Journal and Acknowledge the good things in your life. When you do this at the end of the day, it is a great way of winding down.
- Don’t Compare Yourself to Other People
In times where you are down, you look around at other people who are doing well and compare yourself to them.
Other person you see may be excelling in one area — but like you, they deal with a myriad of thoughts, feelings and problems you don’t know about.
When you are more aware, you tend to compare yourself to others. Begin to remind yourself that you are your own person with your own path to success.
- Recognize Your Failures as Learning Opportunities
A mistake is an experience you can learn from, and the knowledge you gain will help you down the road.
You can’t change that mistake. But you can do your best, and learn from it and move on. Next time you see them you can make up for it.
Whatever the situation is, you will always be learning — which means you will always be improving.
- Be Patient With Yourself
Old habits die hard, and learning to think positively takes time and practice. Replace your negative thoughts with kind words such as “Love and Appreciation” or “Love and Gratitude”.
As a result, over time you will notice improvements in your mindset, your productivity, your motivation and your energy. Ask for support from friends, family and those around you. You can support and assist each other to be more positive without being hard on yourself.
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