Think of some of the things that you’ve been hard on yourself about. You know, the ones where you’ve called yourself a “fool”, “stupid”, a “failure”, “loser”, “reject” (or insert your insult of choice), and where you haven’t been able to forgive you and where you feel as if you need to keep reminding yourself of your screw-up lest you forget the ‘horrors’ of it and repeat it. How’s that working out for you? 

  • Do you feel good?
  • Do you feel loved, heard, cared for, forgiven?
  • Do you feel confident?
  • Do you evolve out of experiences due to the positive insights you gained and self-compassion?

Being hard on yourself, especially on a habitual basis, is an expression of contempt. You’re weaponising self-criticism and being your own worst critic. There’s no perspective or compassion; you’re being unforgiving. These critical judgments form part of your narrative, a backing track fuelling your inner critic. By being hard on yourself, you protect yourself from what you, on some level, along with your inner critic, think is a bigger future pain. The exaggerating of your past actions or flaws blocks vulnerability. 

Being hard on yourself is harmful, not helpful, demotivating you while robbing you of willpower, perspective, and a healthy self-image

If you tend to be hard on yourself, you do the same thing and expect different results. If being hard on yourself worked, it would have worked by now. It’s not because you’re “not good enough” that the criticism isn’t working; you’re using a hammer where you need a hug. Practising self-compassion is crucial in overcoming self-criticism. You have to actively choose to be kinder to yourself in instances where your habit is to go hard.

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