“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
The other day I admitted to feeling a little guilty for not being able to do as much as I use too. I have learned that I am not the only one who sometimes beats up on themselves. I quit trying to please everyone years ago and I am learning that I don’t have to over perform to please myself. And let me tell you life is better when you show yourself some understanding.
I am a regular reader of The Positivity Blog and especially liked these thoughts from an article by Henrik Edberg.
Go Easy on Yourself
One common way to get things done, to achieve and to motivate yourself is to be kind of hard on yourself. To set very high standards for yourself that you want to stick to every time. Now, this way of going about things can indeed help you to accomplish big things in your life and to get things done every week. But it comes at a price.
Three negative things about taking this position towards yourself are:
- You tear your self-esteem down. As you achieve things you tend to tear down your own self-esteem at the same time. So you feel less and less like you deserve success. And frustration and being angry can become more and more common as you fail to reach those very high standards.
- You suck the fun and excitement out of things. A hard or harsh attitude towards yourself has a tendency to make things that used to be fun and exciting less and less so. This attitude does instead over time turn those things into just work that you may start to dread because you fear failure or not meeting your high standards.
- You’ll perform worse and worse. As your self-esteem goes down you’ll feel less motivated to tackle the tasks and projects in your life. As the fun and excitement goes out of many of the things you do procrastination tends to become more and more common. Plus, the work you put in becomes less energetic and focused and so the results aren’t that good anymore either.
So what can you do if you feel that you are maybe too hard on yourself or you beat yourself up quite often? Here are 4 tips that helped me to become kinder towards myself, to get more of the most important things done and to feel better about myself and my life.
- Remind yourself of the negative effects of this attitude.
To just remind yourself of how damaging being hard on yourself has been is in my experience a very effective way to replace the old habit with going easier on yourself.
- Go for more human and smarter standards for yourself.
Movies, books and the people around you may push standards on you that are just pure fantasy or some kind of perfect dream. But life is life, not a fantasy or dream and to set such extremely high standards that no one can live up to just leads to what you may see as failure and disappointment in yourself and in your life. Instead, relax a bit and accept that everything and everyone has flaws and things don’t always go as planned.
Accept that you can still improve things but they will never be perfect. And realize that you won’t be rejected if things or you aren’t perfect.
- Focus on the positive and helpful feedback in setbacks.
It is very common to be hard on yourself when you make a mistake or fail. But it is also a very destructive habit because it can magnify one such event into something that makes you feel depressed for weeks or makes you quit altogether. So when you are hard on yourself for a failure or mistake then relax a bit and go a bit easier on yourself.
- Celebrate your small steps of progress.
If you are in the habit of only celebrating when you reach a big milestone or a perfect moment or two then you may lose your motivation and feel like you are never happy or arriving where you want to be. So make a habit of celebrating your small daily and weekly successes too. This will help you to keep the soul-tiring monotony away and help you to stay enthusiastic instead of getting more and more unmotivated until you may even consider quitting halfway to that big milestone.
“People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it.”
More of life’s lessons:
I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night”. Age 6
I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back. Age 9
I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up. Age 14
I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice. Age 24
I’ve learned…that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. Age 39
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. Age 52
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. Age 58
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. Age 62
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision. Age 66
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. Age 82
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch–holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. Age 85
I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!
Billy Bob and Luther were talking one afternoon when Billy Bob tells Luther, “Ya know, I reckon I’m ’bout ready for a vacation. Only this year I’m gonna do it a little different. The last few years, I took your advice about where to go. Three years ago you said to go to Hawaii. I went to Hawaii and Earline got pregnant.
Then two years ago, you told me to go to the Bahamas, and Earline got pregnant again. Last year you suggested Tahiti and darned if Earline didn’t get pregnant again.”
Luther asks Billy Bob, “So, what you gonna do this year that’s different?”
Billy Bob says, “This year I’m taking Earline with me.”
“I like terra firma; the more firma, the less terra.”
George S. Kaufman
A man decides to join the circus. He shows up to demonstrate his skills to the impresario. “I have the most unusual act,” he announces. “I’m sure it will amaze you.”
He proceeds to climb a tall tower, and jumps off. He flaps his arms wildly, and finally his fall slows. He soars forward, then swoops upward, turns and swoops back again. Finally, he stops in midair and gently lowers himself to the ground.
The impresario stares blankly at him for a long time. Finally he says, “Is that all you’ve got? Bird imitations?”
To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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