Lots of people are hard on themselves. They often feel like they should be doing more and achieving more, and they worry that they are not good enough.
This can cause people to feel constantly dissatisfied with themselves. For example, they might not want to contribute to a conversation because they feel like they are not interesting enough to join in, or they feel self-doubt when they are praised by others.
There are lots of positive reasons why people are hard on themselves; some people have a strong desire for self-improvement, and they think that being hard on themselves is the best way to improve.
However, dissatisfaction with yourself won’t necessarily encourage you to push forward and be better. In reality it makes life much harder for many people by creating unnecessary and difficult hurdles. This is because if you are constantly hard on yourself, you won’t feel happy when you do succeed as you are used to being dissatisfied. Self-doubt can also get in the way of connecting with others, as you might think that you are not good enough to go out and meet new people. This can cause anxiety and depression.
Living life with self-doubt can cause a lot of stress, and it rarely benefits anyone. If you’re tired of feeling unhappy with certain aspects of yourself, here are 4 steps that will help you to stop being hard on yourself.
1. Be Aware Of Your Negative Thoughts
The first thing that you must do is being aware that you have negative thoughts. Maybe you have negative thoughts every day, or perhaps even every hour. Realize that the negative thoughts are part of your life, and if you want to get rid of them you must be aware of them when you have then.
It can be useful to record your negative thoughts so that you can see if there are patterns to your thoughts. Start a thought diary and write down every negative thought that you have, from “I am certain that I have failed my English test even though I revised” to “I feel awkward and weird today.” This will help you to realize that negative thoughts are a big part of your life currently, but it doesn’t need to stay that way.
After a few weeks sit down with your diary and analyze the negative thoughts. You might notice that you have an unhelpful thinking style about school or your career, or you may notice that you often think in black and white, or that you always jump to conclusions. This will help you to understand where your negative thoughts are coming from.
2. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
Make the effort to challenge your negative thoughts instead of automatically believing them.
This doesn’t mean that you should dismiss the thought; instead open yourself up to the pain behind the thought, and get in touch with your negative feelings by questioning why you think this way. This will help you to have a greater understanding about your negative thoughts.
3. Realize That You Are A Good Person
The reason why you are hard on yourself is because you want to be a good person. If you didn’t care about being a good person, you wouldn’t have these thoughts.
Remind yourself that you have these thoughts because you have a good heart. Write down the things that you love about yourself and carry it with you for a few months. Check the list whenever you are feeling low to remind yourself that you are a wonderful person.
4. Be Positive And Focus On The Present
Be positive as often as you can; smile at yourself whenever you see your reflection, and make the effort to make other people smile.
Live in the present and focus on the little things, such as wonderful smells and sounds around you. This will help to ease your negative thoughts over time, especially as you no longer ruminate on the past and the future.