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How To Stop Beating Yourself Up

How To Stop Beating Yourself Up

“You’re sick? So what? Get up! You’re not working hard enough.”

“Why are you so fat? You’re one pound heavier than the runway model.”

“Why did you trust him? The company is doomed because of you.”

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Do any of these sound familiar to you? It may be easier for us to deny the naysayers. The problem arises when those criticisms don’t come from others, but from ourselves.

Negative self talk and sabotaging often happen when you don’t manage to meet your own expectations. However, being cruel to yourself is not a good approach. After all, most great things are done with love, not force. Here are four ways to stop beating yourself up.

1. Stop over planning

Everyone says “Life is short.” Soon enough, these three little words become like a curse. They threaten you that if you don’t use your time wisely, you may end up with regrets and sorrows. So you started to plan everything, from daily tasks to your spare time. You keep filling every moment that you have with things to be done. And when you fail to carry out the works, there will be an internal voice starting to criticize you.

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Well, stop. Remember that you’re just a human, not a programmable, error-free robot. You need some time to rest and re-energize yourself. Not following a plan occasionally doesn’t mean you are lazy or useless. Sometimes it’s even more rewarding if you stop jam-packing your life. Just listen to your heart and go with the flow.

2. Stop working hard

So you have a goal that you eagerly want to achieve? Beware. Don’t get burned by your own intense desire. This is because when you want it so much, you will certainly push yourself constantly to work on it. You are willing to sacrifice anything to accomplish it. And when you are too serious with your goal, you will not allow anything or anyone to ruin your progress, including yourself.

You may force yourself to work day and night. You may even kick yourself when you make any mistakes. In the end you may be suffering from burnout. The key here is to work smart and let yourself breath. In most cases, people create awesome works when they feel happy and comfortable. Try it.

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3. Stop chasing perfection

The ladies in the magazine are pretty and sexy; The guys are handsome and rich. Those are what the media love to promote. It’s okay to admire them, but don’t use them to attack yourself. Avoid comparison and destructive self criticism. Using harsh words on yourself won’t help to improve the condition. It will only make you feel worthless and depress.

Notice that we all have our good, bad and ugly sides. Learn to embrace them unconditionally. Meanwhile, care less about what others think of you. As Les Brown said, “Other people’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” Accept imperfections and make peace with yourself.

4. Stop controlling the outcome

Breakup, divorce, misunderstanding, accidents, business failure… there are unpleasant yet inevitable things that happen in our life. Well we surely wish to turn back time and prevent the loss and pain. Unfortunately we can’t. As a result, we feel guilty and started to blame and hate ourselves.

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The truth is, being hard on ourselves doesn’t benefit at all. The past has ended and we should just stop trying to control or change it. Mistakes are not meant to be reversed, but to be learned. Take the lessons and get it right in the future. Bill Cosby said it well, “People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what’s bitter and move on.”

Let today be a new start for you! Apply the steps above and be gentle to yourself.

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Featured photo credit: Ana Julaton (#100476) by Mark Sebastian via flic.kr

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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