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Go Easy on Yourself

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

We’ve all done that- set high standards for ourselves and be highly critical if we fail to achieve them. Setting high standards helps in a way.

You accomplish a lot of things. It makes you driven and motivates you to work towards your goal. However, the problem arises when you start tearing yourself down for not being able to achieve something.

Sometimes you might even feel like you don’t deserve success. And the frustration at not being able to meet your own high standards keeps increasing.

Life is stressful and we might make mistakes on the way. But is beating yourself up over small mistakes beneficial? Research shows that being hard on yourself results in low motivation and procrastination.

It sucks the fun out of everything you love and enjoy doing, which in turn affects your work. Procrastination becomes a daily thing, bitterness fills your mind and soul, and your confidence decreases.

Go easy on yourself

So, it is pretty clear that beating yourself up is just making things worse. But how can you stop that? It seems so hard, right? Especially since that’s how you’ve reached some of the greatest milestones of your life.

I know it’s hard but you can conquer this habit with patience and attention. I struggled with it but a few things helped me change my perspective and be a little easier on myself. Want to know what helped me? Okay, let's dive right in.

5 Tips to go Easy on Yourself

Here are five things that helped me be kinder to myself:

Treat yourself as you would treat your friend

Imagine your friend is sad and is berating herself for failing. What would you do? Would you tell her, “Yes, it’s your fault. You didn’t work hard enough?” No, right? Instead, you’ll be kind towards her and try to make her feel better, right? That’s how you should try to treat yourself the next time you feel like you failed.

Treat Failures as a Learning Experience

Failures happen. It’s a part of life and it is devastating, to say the least. But most times they also teach us some lessons that you can’t learn at any educational institution. You might remember the saying, “Failure is a stepping stone to success.”

Every time we make a mistake, we learn how to do it right. For example, when I was a child I grabbed a hot iron box and placed it on my left hand. Hmm, learned a big lesson that day.

Focus on the Positive

Focus on positive things

It’s hard not to be hard on yourself when you fail. However, that is never going to be helpful. So it's important to take a step back and look back on the times you succeeded to remind yourself that you’re not a failure. Now, this seems to be hard. Yes, I know right now all you can think of are the mistakes you’ve made. But hear me out.

Keeping a record of all the positive feedback given by my colleagues and boss has helped me quite a bit during such times.

The negative thoughts won’t stop running through your mind but reading those feedback would give you a gentle reminder that you’re not actually a failure. Try it out!

Take a Short Break

We glorify hustle culture a lot so taking a break after a bit of a setback might seem preposterous. But working when you’re being extremely critical of yourself is not helpful. Taking a short break will help you clear your mind.

Don’t believe me? Well, research shows that taking a break improves your performance. Take a walk, go eat something you like, take nap - just do something that you feel would help clear your mind.

Celebrate Every Small Step

Celebrating small steps

If you’re someone who overlooks the small steps and focuses only on the bigger picture or the huge achievements, then it’s high time you start celebrating every small step. Why? Because you might lose your motivation if the huge milestones still seem afar.

Small steps take us to our final destination. So, every step matters. Celebrating small steps increases our confidence and gives us a sense of accomplishment which further increases our motivation. It also helps us keep track of our progress.

Final Thoughts

Self-criticization is something that you’ve been doing for quite a long time so it will take some time to break this habit. It took me years. So, be patient and pat yourself on the back for every small step you take.

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