Surprisingly, it might be you. If you put yourself down when you make a mistake, then you’re the one talking trash about yourself. It’s time to stop that. You’re judging yourself, thinking you’re a good or bad person. So if you’re judging yourself negatively that often leads to low self-esteem.
Some people believe they need self-criticism to motivate themselves, like giving themselves a pep talk. For example, saying, “come on, you can do better than that, stop being so lazy.”
Research shows that doing that undermines motivation by releasing high levels of cortisol, which causes stress, which then causes the body to shut down and leads to depression and lack of motivation. So stop undermining yourself.
Don’t put yourself down. We all make mistakes; it just means you’re human. Forgive yourself and learn from it.
Some people talk to their inner self about how they are stupid, irresponsible, etc. We are quick to judge ourselves and we talk to ourselves much harsher than we would ever talk to anyone else. Most of the time, we would be very compassionate about anyone else who made the mistake we made, so try to talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you love. Show yourself compassion, treat yourself with kindness and accept yourself as you are.
When you give yourself compassion, you put yourself in an optimal state of mind to do your best.
Dr. Christopher Germer, who developed an 8-week program to teach people how to be compassionate toward themselves, said “Self-criticism related to shame is a common factor in many clinical diagnoses, including some kinds of anxiety and depression. Guilt occurs when we blame ourselves over and over for something we did, whereas shame arises when we attack ourselves for who we are.
Self-compassion is a direct antidote to shame. It exchanges self-hatred with self-kindness. When we’re self-compassionate, we’re not sugar-coating reality. We’re simply acknowledging that we, like all human beings, suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, and then we bring compassion to ourselves because we’re suffering, much as we’d do for someone we truly love. Why not include ourselves in the circle of our compassion when we suffer?”
Many people compare themselves negatively to other people. The saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side. But it’s not, it’s just grass. So be happy in your own backyard.
You really don’t know what the other person’s life is like so you’re only judging it on the one small thing that you can see. You have no idea what battles they may be fighting. So stop comparing yourself negatively and start celebrating your uniqueness, be proud of who you are.
Some people focus on the negative. They tend to focus more on their mistakes and faults rather than the positive things they’ve done. It’s time to flip that around. Focus on the positive! Don’t think about what might have been, think about what can be.
Self-criticism asks am I good enough? Self-compassion asks what’s good for me.
When you make a mistake, listen to what you are saying to yourself. It takes time to break old habits but the first step is hearing how you talk to yourself.
Silence the self-scorn, speak softly to yourself and be gentle with your thoughts. Remember, no one is able to heal in a brutal environment.
Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comment section below.
As always, I’d appreciate it if you would help me get the word out about the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250 (nominate someone who inspires you) and the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $250 (submit an act of kindness you would do with $250).