There are people out there who can take a compliment and be happy and that’s it. Then there are those who have trouble taking a compliment at face value because they think that what is being said about them is a lie, that there is an underlying motive to it that benefits the other person, or that they don’t deserve to be complimented on anything. These people have a tendency to be hard on themselves at almost anything they say or do. They will go to lengths to punish themselves if they think they messed up and made a mistake. If you’re one of these people, your not the only person in the world who is hard on themselves. I have experienced this myself personally.
The 7 Signs
There are a number of reasons we’re hard on ourselves. I will be talking about 7 signs that are common among people. In my post about sabotaging ourselves, being hard on yourself can be the main reason why we would want to damage our self-worth and think low of ourselves.
On that note, one sign is that we criticize ourselves over small mistakes we make. Even if no one was affected by it and if they were, they just brushed it off, we still kick ourselves over the fact that it happened. Even if the consequences of our mistakes are minimal or if there are none at all, we still beat ourselves up over them.
Another sign that your being hard on yourself is that after you correct or fix your mistake, you still feel guilty and bad about yourself. You may think that ‘you’re better than this’, ‘It shouldn’t have happened at all’, or ‘Why do I always do that?’. You can have a mindset where you think that there is no room for error in your life, so if the littlest thing bad or wrong thing happens, you may freak out.
A third sign is that your not taking care of yourself. You may have a lot of other things to get done during the day. Appointments to keep, kids to drop off, pick up groceries, feed your pets, mow the lawn, clean the house, wash dishes, study and do homework, etc are some things that are on our to do list. However, what we let happen is when prioritizing all things these is that we leave out self-care. We can get so caught up in completing these things that we forget to relax, brush our teeth, bathe, eat, sleep, or treat ourselves to something nice.
Another sign that your hard on yourself is that when someone mistreats you, you assume that what they said or did to you is true and that your at fault. This results in your self-esteem going down, you don’t feel good about yourself. You can then begin to think that you can’t do anything right and that your a screw up.
A fifth sign is that although you try to be the best you can be and go that extra mile, you begin to feel exhausted and depleted of energy. There is a chance that your neglecting something whether its your friends, family, pets, plants, or again your health because your putting all your energy and focus on other things. You may have a tendency to move on to the next thing or two, but you may be tired and a reason can be that you aren’t spending enough or any time relaxing and recharging yourself for that next thing.
A sixth sign is that even though you have your life together (or a good handle on it), you still feel like a failure. You may be too focused on what isn’t right in your life and what is missing to notice all the good things you already have. This kind of thinking can lead you to thinking your not good enough, your always behind and trying to catch up to everyone else, or that something is wrong with you.
The seventh sign is that when you see or hear someone make a stupid little mistake you understand it, whereas if you make a stupid little mistake you don’t understand it. You talk negative about yourself like ‘I’m smarter than that I should know better’, your morale goes down and you feel bad about yourself.
Here are some ways you stop being hard on yourself and learn to see and embrace what you have accomplished:
- The mistakes you make means you are human and your not perfect
- If you mess up, view it as a learning experience instead of something horrible that happened
- Forgive yourself of past goofs, mistakes, and screw ups.
- Remember that there are people in your life that care about you. Surround yourself with them
- Your not a failure if you keep trying
- Recite positive affirmations about things your good at and what good traits, values, and morals you have
- Write down those positive, traits, values, accomplishments, and morals about yourself and keep it close by to look at and remind yourself that you have self-worth
- Not everything in life is all or nothing. There is a middle ground that you can meet which is just fine
- If you have any kind of awards, things you created, things you fixed, look at them and remember that you created them from scratch and earned them with hard work
- Embrace your flaws. Find the humor in them. They make up who you are and remember there is only one of you in this world
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are your own person and are on your own path in life
- Practice good hygiene and try various relaxation techniques to calm your mind and stop the negative self-talk
Being hard on yourself is something that I and so many other people in this world have done to ourselves. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things we have done and accomplished even if we put a lot of hard work into it. We strive to get better all the time, however we can get so focused on that idea that we overlook all the hard work and accomplishments we have done and achieved so far and only see what we haven’t done yet, what we need to do, and what we messed up. We have to rework our mindset to where we can give ourselves the proper validation and credit on our success. We need to reward ourselves to keep our motivation going (positive reinforcement) so that we can do more things and continue to work hard. Remember your success story can be different than someone else’s success story. For example, your success can be just be taking care of yourself and keeping yourself together and not falling apart; someone else may have succeeded at passing their chemistry final. Determine your success by comparing your accomplishments to your skills, talents, and abilities. You wouldn’t be where you are in your life right now if you didn’t have any good traits, values, morals, talents, and skills. Right?