We wouldn’t take it from other people if they repeatedly offended us and told us we weren’t good enough, so why do we take it from ourselves? It’s part of human nature, but there is also a point when it becomes excessive and destructive.
I am a very self critical person, and in the past this overwhelmed me. Everything in my life seemed to take a turn, and the only way I felt able to cope with it and prove myself to have some worth, was to restrict my eating. I was good at that, so it made me feel successful, even if it was destroying me. I have since, thankfully, learnt that self criticism and destruction are not ways to validate myself and there is no need to be so hard on myself. We need to be our own biggest supporters and need to employ this.
“I have since, thankfully, learnt that self criticism and destruction is not a way to validate myself and there is no need to be so hard on myself. We are our own biggest supporters and need to employ this.”
Makes us feel awful.
Putting ourselves down comes with one thing, negativity which makes us feel crap about ourselves. Whilst we know it makes us feel awful, for some reason, we still do it. It’s like we get a buzz off it, or it comes so easily to us that we don’t even have to think about it. Kindness is the first trait we show to others, but when it comes to ourselves, it is easier to be cruel than it is to be kind. Why do we do this?! If we put that extra effort in to making others feel special, why not use some of that energy on ourselves? One of the post important types of kindness in my eyes, is the kindness we show to ourselves. That takes real strength.
Putting ourselves down serves no purpose. Sometimes it might motivate us to work hard, but 99.9% of the time, it simply makes us feel worthless and not good enough. It is a way of imposing limits on ourselves for no reason. If we encourage ourselves, like we do others, imagine how effective this could be in driving us forward! Take a race setting for example. If other people are shouting at you mid race, you feel a boost to keep pushing and work harder than you thought possible, but if people were to constantly shout demotivating, critical phrases at you during a race, you would feel awful and probably perform sub-par. So, why do we do this in everyday life to ourselves? We are basically psyching ourselves out before we’ve tried to support ourselves. We should be our own cheerleaders not enemies. We don’t need to fight ourselves, so why do it? It’s pointless.
Something I try to do is practice positive self-talk. This is when, rather than allowing the doubting, critical thoughts to over power me, I encourage myself and actually physically tell myself this. I say to myself that I CAN do this and I am stronger than I believe. I think positive, encouraging thoughts, so that my mind doesn’t get the opportunity to try and push me down. Even if I feel tired and my mind isn’t feeling quite there, being kind and positive towards myself, allows me to get the best out of that day.
Finally, I find putting myself down is exhausting! I get so fed up of my mind saying things such as you aren’t feeling great today, that I don’t have time to listen it. Those thoughts are the ones holding me back, unnecessarily wasting energy. Ultimately, we are the ones who believe in ourselves the most, not others, so we need our minds to tell us that. Of course I sometimes wonder if my goals are too ambitious, but someone once told me that no dream is unrealistic. If you want something, work for it, and push those doubting thoughts to the side, because you’ve got this.
"If you want something, work for it, and push those doubting thoughts to the side, because you’ve got this."
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I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!