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Are you hard on yourself? Do you try and berate yourself to do better or try harder? If we’re honest, this describes many of us, especially those who had critical parents or teachers.
Our internal voice goes something like this: ‘I must do this, I should do that….why can’t I just do this or that…? What is wrong with me, why can’t I stick to x or y?’
And around and around we go. Who hasn’t heard a little voice in their heads telling them that they are not enough. Hands up if you’ve tried to shame or criticise yourself into doing better! That’s a waste of time isn’t it.
So we try harder don’t we, while the negative voice in our heads gets louder and louder. We think if we can force ourselves, by sheer strength of willpower, we’ll make stuff happen.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve and grow but the spirit in which it is done is key. Trying to force yourself to do things by making yourself feel bad will backfire spectacularly because the paradox is that you are lowering your self-esteem in the process and that won’t work!
One of the many drawbacks of the self-flagellation approach (apart from the obvious pain) is that it tends to carry over into the way we treat others as well. The harder you are on yourself, the harder you will be on others.
If you want to know how someone feels about themselves, observe their treatment of other people – it’s a mirror of their sense of self. Someone who is outwardly judgemental, is very often judging their own actions in the same way.
It’s interesting that the things you dislike most about yourself will be hard to stomach in others! It’s good to reflect on what you find most annoying about people – quite illuminating.
Softening your internal voice will modify the way you view your fellow humans. As you motivate yourself in a more positive and supportive way, you’ll notice an interesting shift in your level of compassion towards the people in your life.
Take care and be kind to each other