It’s not uncommon for most of us to be harder on ourselves than we are on others. We often are our own worse critique.
What we say to ourselves, our self-talk, dictates our emotional state, which affects our attitude and outlook on life. If we’re constantly berating ourselves for not meeting a standard we’ve set ourselves, it will:
- Cause us to feel unhappy.
- Cause us to have low energy.
- Decrease our motivation levels.
- Decrease our self-confidence.
- Affect what we’re willing or not willing to do.
We all have reasons why we’re hard on ourselves. To have a healthy level of respect for ourselves, we have to know how to turn habits of self-criticism into better, empowering habits.
If we’re constantly hard on ourselves we have to eventually ask:
- Is our way working or not? Are we getting the results we want?
- Why are we so hard on ourselves? Are we trying to impress other people or are we driven to prove others wrong?
- Is being hard on ourselves causing us to be unhappy consistently?
Whenever we find we’re being hard on ourselves, here are five reminders or things we should consider so we can quickly change our self-talk from criticism to encouragement.
5 Things to Remember if You Are Too Hard on Yourself
- It’s okay if things are not currently working out. We falsely believe things will always work out or that our experience in life will not have challenges. We go through phases or cycles in life and sometimes there will be challenging phases. As long as we remember that nothing lasts forever and that challenging phase will pass with time. Our job is to stay focused on what we want.
- It’s okay to fail. Failure can be our best teacher in life. Whenever we fail at something, all it means is that our way didn’t work. It doesn’t make us a failure. As long as we’ve learned valuable lessons from the experience, we can use them to improve and do better next time.
- It’s okay if other people are ahead of you. If we look at the success of others and compare them to our success, especially if we think we’re not where we should be, it’ll be easy to feel deflated or discouraged. The key lesson here is we’re all on our own journey in life and should not compare ourselves to others.
- It’s okay not to know what’s next. Some of us want to know exactly what’s going to happen or what we should do next. We like to have a high level of certainty. The reality is we don’t know what’s going to happen next in life. We can have visions and set goals, which all helps, but sometimes unexpected things happen. We have to learn to remain in the unknown and welcome anything that comes our way.
- It’s okay to be down or feel unhappy. No one is happy 100% of the time. Some people have developed better habits that enables them to quickly shift their emotional states when they’re unhappy. It’s okay to experience sad emotions, but the key is to not remain in it. We must quickly refocus on what makes us happy.
Being hard on ourselves is not a long-term or intelligent strategy for happiness. If we get into the habit of asking ourselves better questions, we’ll be able to quickly change how we feel and stay motivated to do the things that matter most to us.
Action Step: Reflect on how you have felt this past week. Were you hard on yourself consistently? If you were, apply the ideas listed above to change your self-talk and how you feel.
Question: What is another reminder that can help us stay motivated if we’re too hard on ourselves?