Simon Hopes

How to Stop Being so Hard on Yourself

It's human nature to forget about your successes while remembering every little mistake in detail. Dwelling on mistakes isn't good for you though and can even lead to depression and other problems.

Let's look at how to stop being so hard on yourself.

Mistakes Are a Valuable Part of Learning

Everybody makes mistakes. Whether it's because you don't know how to do something yet or you mess something up, it's bound to happen. The important thing is what you take away from it.

Every time you make a mistake, you've learned how not to do something. That's valuable knowledge that will help you do better the next time. Instead of dwelling on it, remember the experience so you don't make the same mistake the next time.

Don't Compare Yourself to Other People

It's tough to make a fair comparison when comparing yourself to other people. You don't know what kind of experience they have under their belt and what mistakes they might have made in the past that put them where they are today. There could be years of effort or large investments of time or money behind them.

Compare yourself to your goals and expectations for yourself. If you're not where you want to be yet, keep working toward that target on your own terms, not what you imagine someone else's to be.

Your Past is Not Your Identity

Everyone can change. If you're learning and growing, you aren't the same person you were last month let alone years ago. So don't base your identity on someone you used to be.

Mistakes you've made in the past don't define who you are. Even if you've repeated some of those mistakes, you can see your way past them.

Be Objective About Your Thoughts and Emotions

It's hard to look at your own thoughts and emotions objectively. If someone else were to make the same mistake you did, chances are good that you wouldn't think it was nearly as important.

When you're being hard on yourself, replace the "I" in your thoughts with "you" and ask yourself if you would say those things to someone else. If not, it's a sign you need to stop being so hard on yourself.

Celebrate Your Wins

It's easy to forget about the things you did right and focus on mistakes. Next time you do something well, celebrate that win. Treat yourself to something you've been wanting. Take a weekend off and relax. Give yourself permission to do something for you without feeling guilty about it.

This will help motivate you to work harder for those wins but it has another benefit as well. You'll remember those celebrations and it will help you remember the times you were successful. Next time you think, "Why am I so hard on myself?", you'll think of those successes.

How to Stop Being so Hard on Yourself

Remember, everyone around you is less concerned about your mistakes than you are. They've got their own mistakes to worry about. The first step of how to stop being so hard on yourself is to start looking at things from someone else's perspective. Once you see things less personally, you'll realize it's not as bad as you think.

Be sure to check back regularly for more posts like this one.

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