You try so hard to be the best at everything you do, to be the best version of yourself. People like you (and me) have the tendency to be hard on ourselves, and we often fail to notice it. We’re too busy making everything perfect. You always think that everything you do should be perfect, everything you are should be perfect, and we all hold an impossible standard of perfection. Here are the ways in which you’re being too hard on you:
1. You keep judging yourself. The root of all our pain is criticism. Not just on ourselves but on others as well. We concentrate so much on our flaws and we’re so caught up in them that we forget that there’s more to us than the flaws we try so hard to hide. We judge ourselves, we judge others, we judge feelings, emotions, situations. We judge everything.
WHAT TO DO: Instead of criticizing yourself, look for the good in the bad. The beauty in the flaws. Don’t focus on your flaws, if you learn to live confidently in them, they’d stop being flaws and simply be characteristics. Whenever you have a really tough day, be thankful for getting through it, instead of complaining about how bad it is. Remember that there is always good in the bad, even on the worst days. When we stop criticizing ourselves, we’d stop criticizing others as well.
2. You see your life in extremes. It’s either you succeed or you fail. You’re the best or the worst. You’re either the most beautiful or the ugliest. And when you’re on the negative side of the extremity, you get so affected and you criticize yourself.
WHAT TO DO: Open your eyes to the fact that it’s not just up and down, there’s also the middle. And it’s okay to be in the middle. In fact, it’s better and healthy to be in between, in balance.
3. You’re terrified of failure. You flinch at the thought of not succeeding in what you decide to do, whether it is a simple or extreme action. One of the reasons why you’re scared to fail is because you get so affected by what people will say about you when you do. When you fail, you seem to never forget it and dwell on it on a very long time.
WHAT TO DO: First accept that it’s OKAY to fail, it’s even good at times. A person who has never experienced failure has never truly experienced success either because there is nothing to compare success to. When you fail, forgive yourself and instead of concentrating on the failure, concentrate on the lessons you learned, apply them, and try again.
4. You have unrealistically high expectations. You have high expectations from yourself and from others. And when you don’t meet those expectations, you constantly blame yourself.
WHAT TO DO: Don’t expect too much. In fact, don’t expect at all. Expectations are the root cause of disappointments. Instead of having expectations, have goals. Goals that are reachable and attainable. Then act upon them. If you fail to reach your goal, simply just try again. There is nothing wrong with trying over and over.
5. You can’t accept a compliment. When someone says “You look good today” or “Wow you’re so smart”, instead of thanking them, you just laugh and shake it off. You focus more on the negative things people say about you and when they say something good, you won’t believe them.
WHAT TO DO: Have a little faith in yourself and the people around you and learn that some people really do appreciate you. So start saying “Thank you” instead of shrugging. And also be generous in giving honest complements to others.
6. You’re constantly trying to be “good enough.” You’re boundlessly complaining about never being good enough. In every failed attempt to do something, you blame yourself and your incapability.
WHAT TO DO: Every day when you wake up, convince yourself that whatever happens today, as long as you do your best, you are more than enough. There is no universal standard to what is “good enough”. The only one setting the bar for that is you. And what you should know is that what you’re doing now, who you are now at this very moment, is enough.
Give yourself a break, cut yourself some slack, be easier on yourself, and lighten up. Do something for yourself, and not for the people around you. Know that the only one given the power to decide for you is yourself. I hope you make choices that involve being easier on you and loving yourself. Remember that everything starts and ends in your head. The way you act upon things depends on the way you think about them. So before you fix your actions, fix your mindset, and everything else will follow.
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” –African Proverb