Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself: Learning To Give Ourselves A Break

I truly believe that we are our biggest critics. For me, this is especially true. I can not tell you how many times I’ve gone back and thought about something that I could have done better. It can be an article that I could have written better. Or, it could be something that would have been perfect to say in that moment, but didn’t. And, finally, it could be just overall critique on ourselves when we don’t get enough done for the day.

Whatever the case may be, it’s very easy to nitpick everything that you do to the point where you can get so down on yourself.

Trust me, that’s not fun.

The question is, why are we getting so down on ourselves?

The answer is that we don’t believe that we deserve it. This is called self acceptance. According to an article on Psychology Today entitled Why Is Self-Acceptance So Hard?, accepting ourselves unconditionally is “difficult” because we must “he fantasy that if we punish ourselves enough with negative thoughts, we’ll change.”

But, why do we do this?

The article says that this can stem from “messages we receive from our culture, others, and ourselves” that have become “deeply ingrained.” For instance, if someone continually tells you that if you tried harder you would have gotten an a, that can stay with you. And, it will follow you.

In our society, we constantly try to be on top and the best. The best grades, the best at balancing, and the best in general. So, when we don’t measure up, it can be easy to harp on what is wrong.

Instead, let’s start celebrating the positives. For instance, let’s celebrate all that we’ve gotten done versus constantly putting ourselves down with the few things that we didn’t get to. Or, if you got a B on a test that you studied hard for, celebrate that you got that B, versus not getting an A.

Let’s just work as hard as we can, and learn to positively reinforce ourselves. To praise ourselves for what was done and the hard work we did to complete it. It’s hard, but I think that we can do it. I know I can.

And, before we go, here’s some positive self talk:

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