Why are you so hard on yourself? Do you really think all that self-hatred, self-condemnation, self-judgment, and self-criticism will make things better?
There is this tendency amongst us humans to be hard on ourselves – I guess we honestly believe that by pushing ourselves harder and harder, and by constantly pointing out the many things we think are wrong with ourselves and our lives, something will change.
But you and I know that you attract more bees with honey than vinegar…
8 Ways to Stop Being So Hard on Yourself
1. You are only human
I know you strive for perfection and you want to do everything in a perfect manner. But you have to understand that you are only human. And humans fall, stumble, and make mistakes – it’s all part of our humanity.
2. Rome wasn’t built in a day
It’s a fast-paced world we live in. I get that. But no matter how fast, brilliant, and skillful you may be, some things just take time. And you being hard on yourself won’t make them happen any faster.
“I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.” ~ Paulo Coelho
3. Take time to breathe
“Shallow breathing is the root of all evil but conscious deep breathing restores and secures our souls.” ~ Desmond Green
Pay close attention to your breathing. And whenever you catch yourself falling back into old habits by being hard on yourself and trying to force things into completion, direct your focus back to your breath. By doing so, not only will you learn to be more gentle with yourself, but you will also experience the peace and serenity that comes from being fully present in your body, and fully present in the NOW.
4. Take one step at a time
There is no need to rush. No need to hurry. And no need to force things into completion. Just take one step at a time and trust the natural flow of life.
“Rushing into action, you fail. Trying to grasp things, you lose them. Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe. Therefore the Master takes action by letting things take their course. He remains as calm at the end as at the beginning.” ~ Lao Tzu
5. Commit to THIS moment
One of the many reasons you are so hard on yourself is because you think that THIS moment right here – where you NOW are, what you NOW are doing, and who you NOW are – is not enough – good enough, perfect enough, fast enough, smart enough, etc..
But THIS moment right here is more than enough – this moment is perfect – this moment is where your life is.
And if you don’t learn to honor, enjoy, and appreciate what’s in front of you, you risk wishing your life away.
Be kind and gentle with yourself.
Let go of self-judgment, self-hatred, and self-criticism, and learn to treat yourself with the love and respect you truly deserve. Know that your thoughts have creative power. And the words that come out of your mind give life to that which you affirm. Affirm only the best!
7. Create your own rules
Instead of unquestioningly adopting the many stereotypical definitions of happiness, fulfillment, and success this world so generously offers us, choose to create your own rules. Define success on own terms. Create your own rules and seek to discover for yourself what true happiness, wealth, and well-being mean to you.
“The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
8. Stop enabling and loving yourself
I know you have a big heart and you want to help everyone. But you have to understand that by trying to save them all, you risk losing all of you.
You are not here to save the world, nor are you here to do the work others need to do for themselves. You are here to be an example for others – to inspire and empower others – to Be better, and Do better, but not to do their work for them. So please, stop enabling and start loving yourself.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~ Buddha