Why You Should Stop Being So Hard on Yourself
If it can be psychologically destructive, then why do we do it? Here I show you 3 ways you can start to break that cycle.
Beating Yourself Up?
Do you feel like you’re in a continual loop of beating yourself up over things that you think you should have done or said differently.
It can feel really draining if you’re spending all your time over-analysing, and inadvertently putting a negative spin on everything can’t it?
When we’re in a habit of talking in a certain way to ourselves, it’s seems like it would be too difficult to change things, or even, that it’s just not possible to change because you now actually believe that this is “just the way you are”!
- “I wish I hadn’t eaten so much - when am I ever going to learn.”
- “I should have spoken up at work - it’s too late now - why do I always shy away from things like that.”
- “I can’t believe I’ve not done any exercise AGAIN.”
- “My house is always a mess - why can’t I just be tidy for a change.”
- “I still haven’t posted that card - I’m so terrible at remembering to send things on time.”
- “Even though my appraisal went well - I’m dwelling on the ONE thing my boss challenged me on.”
Do you feel drained just reading these? I know I do. Yet many of us say these types of things to ourselves daily if not hourly.
Consider these 3 things….
- This isn’t doing you any good - in fact studies show that negative self talk is actually bad for our health.
- You’re not the only one who does this - many other women are also giving themselves a hard time on a daily basis - so don’t forget you’re not on your own with this.
- You CAN change and break the habit - and be free to choose positivity and positive thoughts.
When was the last time you gave yourself a hard time? You might be doing it subconsciously, but have a think back to earlier today or yesterday and notice if you started the usual cycle which allows the inner critic to take over your thoughts.
More Harm than Good?
“Self-criticism is a trait that has been shown to lead to mental struggles, which can then manifest in physical problems, such a chronic fatigue and pain” says psychologist and researcher Golan Shahar, a professor of clinical-health and developmental-health psychology at Ben-Gurion University.
This kind of self-talk can start to increase stress, decrease your motivation and productivity and can lead to symptoms of depression.
So….. if it can be psychologically destructive why do we do it?
Believe it or not, our inner critic IS actually trying to help us. It thinks that this is the best way to motivate us.
A much more positive way to motivate yourself is through Self-Compassion.
There are 3 steps you can start to practise that will help you break that cycle! You’re not going to change overnight - but practicing these will help it to become easier.
- Write down all the negative thoughts you can think of that you may have said to yourself in the past week. Writing these down can bring them into our conscious mind and help us to see them as they are.
- Respond to your negative comment! What I mean is, if you say “I’m terrible, I always forget to post cards on time” - then respond to that Mind Manipulator of yours and say something like “I’m doing my best, but sometimes I run out of time.. Next time, I’ll make it a priority to post the card on time”
- Choose one or two positive people you know, and really think about what it is they do that enables them to be kind to themselves, and less hard on themselves. Can you then try and adopt their outlook? When you next come up with a negative thought, I want you to put yourself into their shoes and think about the kind of thing they would choose to say to themselves.
Try and commit to doing this for a month if possible - check in by writing in your journal about what you noticed. This won’t happen overnight but, over time, you'll get better at these new skills and they will become easier to use.
Imagine your life where you feel free, happy and optimistic? YOU can have that if you start to apply the above steps and commit to doing this for a few weeks.
Leave a comment below with 3 specific examples of how you give yourself a hard time during a typical week.
If you found this useful, then you can also get my Free Guide - “5 Life Changing Habits for Success” which you can pick up at my website where you can find more helpful blogs like this.