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How to Deal with Being Too Hard on Yourself

We all aspire to be flawless, or at least the best version of ourselves.  But what happens when we make a minor or large mistake?  We become extremely disappointed and can't stop thinking about it and blaming ourselves, believing that we should have done this or that.

According to a study, we are all born with the ability to display negativity in ourselves.  We sometimes feel compelled to berate ourselves, emphasizing our failures over our triumphs.  This negativity is regularly linked to lower motivation, poor self-control, and increased procrastination.  This self-criticism causes inhibition in the brain, which prevents you from taking action to achieve your goals, causes premature aging, and, worst of all, causes the development of chronic diseases.

Here are a few examples of self-criticism:

Dealing with a mistake for an eternity.

Even while mistakes are an inevitable part of life, the guilt that creeps in and takes up residence in your head can inflict a tremendous deal of emotional and physical agony, making it unforgettable.

Concentrating on unfinished projects.

People recall unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks, according to one theory.  In psychology, this theory is known as Zeigarmik Effect, named after Bluma Zeigarnik. This study postulates were more likely to recall unfinished activities because they caused "psychic tension," which was relieved once the action was done, allowing the person to forget the task without exerting substantial cognitive effort.

Comparing yourself to others.

We enable others to dictate our behaviour when we compare ourselves to others.  Comparisons between people is a recipe for misery.  In the worst-case scenario, we waste our time and energy putting others down rather than lifting ourselves up.

Worrying about everything.

Worrying constantly, thinking negatively, and expecting the worst can have a bad influence on your emotional and physical health.  It can make you jittery and restless, cause insomnia, headaches, stomach problems, and muscle strain, and make it difficult to concentrate at work or school.

Make that Change!

According to Joan Halifax, an American Zen Buddhist teacher and author of Edge States, there is a psychological reason why some people are harsh on themselves.  When pushed to the limits of their comprehension, comfort, and capabilities, that individual is altered.  This is part of Kazimierz Dabrowski's (a Polish psychologist, psychiatrist, and physician) positive disintegration theory, which states that crises and stress are essential for psychological growth and beneficial; however, continuously creating negativity and keeping yourself in a constant state of stress will become detrimental to your health and is no longer encouraging positive personality growth.

Being harsh on yourself is not only counterproductive, but it's also a difficult habit to break.  It necessitates constant focus and practice.  Here are some tips on how to quit being so harsh on yourself.

You should learn from your mistakes.

Do not be scared to fail; instead, get up and keep going forward with your mistakes as your life's teacher.

In this world, nothing is flawless.

There is no correct or incorrect way to do anything.

People that criticize you can teach you a lot.

Don't let other people's criticism get you down.  Allow them to serve as catalysts for transformation and a better self.

Surround yourself with like-minded individuals that want to succeed.

Your family, reliable friends, and individuals you can count on will make you happier and more confident.


It is first and foremost about us.  No one knows us as good as we do.  The first person we should love is ourselves.


Take a few moments at the end of the day to reflect on your professional accomplishments as well as occasions when you made yourself proud.  Acting in accordance with your values is the true definition of success.  Your desire to be the best as a sensitive striver can be an asset when managed properly.  Once you've conquered your tendency to be hard on yourself, you'll be able to fully utilize your sensitivity and ambition as gifts.


Source: Why You Should Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

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