Self-Hate Is The Most Powerful Motivational Tool

Twenty20 / Philipbrunner
Twenty20 / Philipbrunner

Self-hatred is like chemotherapy. It always feels terrible, and in the wrong dose, it can destroy you from the inside, cause you too much pain to move, and can even kill you.

But the right dosage of it can absolutely save your life.

And help you lose weight.

Now I’m not saying you should always hate yourself — just when its appropriate. My idea is that you treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated. Treat both self-love, and self-hate as things that you earn on a daily basis. Allow yourself to think you’re awesome when you’ve been awesome, and let the feelings of self-hatred flow through you like that second pint of Cherry Garcia when that’s what is deserved.

Basically, throw a pizza party when you do well. Punch yourself in the dick when you mess up.

You may struggle to know when to do what, so here is one rule of thumb: most of us should probably be loving ourselves a lot less. I mean good God. There are so, so many people out there who seem to be happy with themselves, where you look at them and you think, “Dude…why?”

“I’m fat and happy.” Well, maybe stop that. Maybe instead you should consider that you’re a walking lack of self-control, and that you’re slowly committing suicide, and maybe if you actually loved yourself, you would cut that shit out.

Think of all the time you spend every day not improving your life because you’re busy rewarding yourself for nothing. Watching TV, getting high, scrolling aimlessly through Facebook is your way of rewarding yourself for…what? Getting out of bed to grab your tablet? Brushing your teeth for twenty seconds? Remembering to breathe without drooling on yourself?

Your life is totally out of balance. You spend your days spoiling yourself and — wait. Actually, hold on. Let’s back up a second. I’m not sure if everyone knows this.

We do know that being spoiled is bad, right? Let’s all take some time to remember this. No matter what the context — a boyfriend getting his girlfriend a bunch of shiny rocks, a mother giving her son every video game, a father letting his daughter walk all over him — being spoiled is shitty. It’s a terrible condition to be in. You’re unable to enjoy things that would otherwise be amazing, and you’re insufferable to be around. You expect more than you’ll ultimately get out of life, you develop no work ethic, and you think you’re above other people — all of this for some instantly fleeting moments of joy when you get a new shiny bullshit thing. Being spoiled sucks, so for the love God, don’t spoil yourself or others. It’s fucking abusive.

And constantly loving yourself regardless of what you do is a great way to spoil yourself. So instead, keep tabs on yourself. You didn’t earn this House Hunters marathon. You didn’t earn Krispy Kreme for dinner. You didn’t earn taking that fucking idiotic Buzzfeed quiz about which 7th Heaven character you are. Step outside yourself for two seconds and look at what you’re doing with your finite time on this planet.

Oh what, you worked hard all day? Did you work hard at a job you like? At the job you want?

No? Then why are you not seeking some way to ditch your job? You have an opportunity to make 40 hours a week of your life better, and you’re doing nothing, because you’re “tired,” so instead, you seek immediate gratification at the cost of doing fucking anything to help yourself. You’re actually postponing a better life, and your entire reason for doing so is, “Ehh.” Isn’t something wrong if that doesn’t make you hate yourself?

I can speak with authority about this, because ninety-five percent of the time, this is what I do. When I fuck up, I almost never punish myself. Instead, I scroll through Netflix for an hour before deciding on a 20-minute thing to watch, and I forget that I just fucked up. It causes me to fail miserably at life, and I’ll tell you exactly why I do it.

The Evil Of Forgiveness

It’s because I give into that childhood message that has been stuck on repeat this whole millennium, telling me that I’m awesome and amazing no matter what. I give myself unconditional love, and tell myself it’s okay to fuck up. I forgive myself.

And that’s how this happens: not with earned forgiveness, but with immediate, “I want bad feelings to stop so I’m going to watch some brainless colorful horseshit while I rub myself and pour salt down my throat,” forgiveness.

We’re told that forgiveness is this great thing, but think about this scenario.

Imagine you are your own employee, and your company is dependent on that employee trying to do something with their lives. You wouldn’t forgive yourself over and over. The first time you saw yourself watching cartoons or getting high when you were supposed to be working, you would fire yourself. Then you’d offer to blow yourself to keep your job, but you won’t even be able to do that, because it’s been seven God damn years, and you still haven’t taken up yoga.

So you’d be left with no choice but to kick your own ass out the door.

Well here’s a little secret: that’s how it actually is. If you are a person with any ambition whatsoever, you are your own employee. But unfortunately for you, you can’t fire your shitty self and find someone better.

So you have no choice but to have yourself a heaping scoop of self-discipline infused with plenty of self-hate. The two really go hand in hand. If you saw somebody else live completely free of self-discipline, and then having the gall to whine about their unhappiness, you’d be like “fuck that asshole.” Hating that behavior is natural. It makes sense. It’s logical.

So go on. Punch yourself in the dick. Do it whenever you deserve it. If you do it enough, you’ll go sterile, which at that point, is good for the world.

Maybe you don’t have a dick to punch. That’s okay! Find your own thing. Self deprecate, self deprive, self-cunt-punch. Whatever. You know how to make yourself miserable. Follow your spirit.

But as a reminder, please do reward yourself when you do well. Were you just genuinely productive? Did you work all day and get closer to achieving your goals? Did you do something great for someone else? Then buy a cake, take a shot, jerk off. Do it all at the same time. You’ve earned it, champ. Celebrate. Jerk off onto the cake if you want. Who cares. It’s your party. Live it up.

You have no shortage of rewards to give yourself. You are literally surrounded by them. They’re the things you spend 90% of your life doing. Don’t throw out the stupid fun horseshit things. Use them when they should be used. They’re great motivators. They’re not your life. They’re lifelines. Turn to them when you’ve worked yourself to your bones.

Until you do that, feel that self-hatred seep in. Use it. How do you use it? Simple.

Hate What You Are. Love What You Can Be.

Because self-hatred is typically seen as a bad thing, people have yet to fully recognize its power. They don’t even see how it’s already working.

People have been seeking out the best way to lose weight ever since Marilyn Monroe died. We’ve tried everything: gimmick diets, magic pills, creams you rub on your taint. But the answer is right in front of us, and always has been. Nothing causes people to lose weight more quickly than the proper dosage of self-hatred. No supplement or workout of your core can replace you grabbing your muffin top as you look at your gross naked body in the mirror and cry-scream at the top of your lungs.

Nobody loses weight because they want to be healthy. There’s been like eight exceptions to this rule in the past five decades of people. It’s about as common as being born with two left feet.

You want to lose weight because you hate your gross stupid fucking body. You notice your index finger is puffier than the model in the Zales ad and you get a kids popcorn instead of an XL the next time you’re at the movies, and you dip celery into ranch instead of a spoon. You eat healthier and exercise more because you hate what you are, and you love the idea of this healthier, better looking version of you.

Say what you will. When in the right dose, it works. But it needs to be in the right dose, and that’s tricky.

Harness The Hatred

Of course self-hatred can be bad. Of course, there are times when it can get out of control. It can result in eating disorders, unproductive fits of crying, sometimes even self-harm. And that’s terrible. It really is.

But the problem isn’t the existence of self-hatred. The problem is that, unlike with chemotherapy, we don’t have doctors monitoring our dosage. We’re monitoring it, and we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing. Can you imagine the horrifying image of a cancer patient administering their own chemo? (Yes. You can. It’s just a dead person.)

We don’t know how to manipulate and control our own feelings rationally to motivate us to be less shitty, and there are no doctors to help us. So it is sketchy, dangerous terrain. But so is being is being a spoiled, narcissistic tool who loves him or herself no matter what they do. Charles Manson seems to love the shit out of himself. It’s a slippery slope.

So maybe the key is a balance. Maybe we need to step back and judge ourselves based on honest evaluation, and not off of what reads nicely on a Pinterest post in a stupid font over an image of a placid quarry. And maybe if we’re suddenly more aware that self-hatred doesn’t have to be a bad thing — that we can use it to become more powerful — we can monitor its levels, be more successful in keeping it under control, and be better off as people.

So go on. Before you go out into that world, remember that you are the only you out there, and you can be like…God, so much better. So don’t be afraid to hate yourself a little, sweetheart. You’ve earned it. TC mark

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I write for my own satirical self-help website. I believe we're all falling way short of our potential and my goal is ... Read more articles from Will on Thought Catalog.
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