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