Why am I so hard on myself?
I don’t know if your like me but if you are you can be too critical, judgmental and harsh towards yourself. The way we talk to ourselves is just downright mean. If anyone else talked to me like that, well, we wouldn’t be friends and a few choice words would of been said.
The questions I hear from clients and what I often ask myself is why do we tolerate such bad behavior? Why are we not kinder to ourselves? Why do we expect perfection from ourselves when we know that’s impossible and then get mad at ourselves for not being perfect?
Signs of being too hard on yourself:
1. Your over critical and expect perfection which sets you up for failure
2. You rehash all your mistakes and failures over and over again, you don’t give yourself a break because you don’t think you deserve it! You obsess over and over what went what wrong and why- why you did it that way? What you could of done different? This could go on for hours or even days and then when you finally let go something else happens and your right back to obsessing on why you did things wrong! It’s like watching the same show over and over again. We need to stop the reruns playing in our head with the same theme “What’s wrong with me?”
3. Nothing you do is good enough – no matter how much effort or how it comes out even if everyone else thinks you were great, you still think it’s not good enough!
If this sounds like you then here are a few ways to stop the harshness and be a better friend to yourself.
1. Set up realistic expectations – being perfect or constantly in control is impossible and just sets us up for failure instead set realistic expectations with a realistic time frame to meet those goals. Remember we can’t control anything but ourselves and our reactions, if we are trying to control others we will be hurting ourselves and pushing others away.
2. Mistakes bring growth – if we don’t make mistakes and have failures, we can’t grow and change. Instead of expecting perfection expect to learn. With every mistake/failure comes a lesson.
3. Instead of being too critical let’s look for the positive – every night before you go to bed ask yourself: What are 2-3 things I did well today? Let’s teach ourselves to spend time looking at the positive instead of the negative.
4. Expect growing pains – it’s part of life, we are human. Life will come with ups and downs, mistakes, failures and accomplishments. Look at the big picture and don’t punish yourself for the down times.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others- we have more options to compare ourselves now with the Internet and social media but don’t do it. It’s a no win situation. Everybody’s grass looks greener until you actually talk to that person. Don’t perceive that others have perfect lives because it’s not true. Instead accept who you are and start learning to love yourself again.
6. Treat yourself with the same respect and kindness you treat others. If you wouldn’t say something to another person especially a friend or family member then why would you say it to yourself?
* When we constantly criticize ourselves and expect perfection we get stuck in a loop we can’t get out off. Instead get off the hamster wheel and treat yourself with compassion, kindness, patience and understanding. Look for the lessons, remind yourself it all brings growth and accept and love yourself!