Being Hard On Yourself: How to like your future self more.
Are you tough on yourself? If so then here’s a thought-provoking video. This is so simple, yet it can have a profound effect on your life. It deals with taking a brand new perspective on being hard on yourself.
In this video I help you explore any upsides to treating yourself differently to all the other people you care about and I give you tips on changing your behaviour. Self care isn’t just about going to the gym or taking time out for yourself! It’s also about how you talk to yourself.
I’m really interested to hear your thoughts so watch the video and let me know. It takes less than five minutes to the end, and your future self will thank you for it!
My name is Gordon McCrorie, I’m the Happiness Guy. This is a video to help you have a happier life. I’ve also written about practicing self compassion here.
When it comes to changing things in our life, it often starts with changing questions, or considering new questions that perhaps we haven’t thought of before.
This particular question is one that comes up a lot when I am working one to one with clients – so let me share this question with you, I’m interested in what your thoughts are:
“What is the upside to being so hard on yourself?”
So I’m exploring what does that get you, What’s the upside? The main reason that I ask that question is because almost all of my clients have something in common, they are really hard on themselves. They believe in some way, shape or form, that they should be hard on themselves and that this is useful for them.
I then follow that up with another question:
“Do you treat other people the same way as you treat yourself?”
And often the answer comes back that of course not, my client would be kinder to others, be more patient, be more tolerant and talk to them in a different tone to the way they talk to themself.
So the next question is:
“Well what it is about you that makes you less worthy to be treated by yourself the way you would treat others?”
This kind of stumps people! They don’t know and they don’t have an answer to that.
So those are kind of the questions that are really kind of interesting that people are starting to consider. What is the upside to being so hard on yourself, would you speak to other people like that, and what specifically about you makes you less worthy of the same kindness, respect and compassion that you give to others?
These are three great questions for you to consider. And let us add a little bit on to that. The next question to consider:
“What are ALL the consequences of being so hard on yourself?”
We said what’s the upside? That’s one way of looking at it but also what are the consequences. For me, the answer to that question includes that we feel less capable, downtrodden and it steals our energy. It keeps us down and our head down, less likely to fully engage and afraid to try again.
So there are loads of consequences and then, how do we bring it full circle?
Look at how you would want to be treated by yourself. How would you start with that? Start with an awareness of your language, the way you speak to yourself. Occasionally I find myself saying to myself “you’re an idiot for doing that!” And then I automatically self correct (This is now a habit of mine), and I answer myself back in my own head: “actually I wasn’t an idiot, I just made a mistake.” It’s having awareness of the problem, that is the first stage to change this.
Once you have asked yourself the earlier questions, if you don’t think that is the best way to keep going, because it keeps getting you the same result that you don’t like and you’re losing your confidence and self esteem, then instead start paying attention and start answering yourself back. Somebody, and that somebody is you needs to start standing up for you!
My view on all of this is that being hard on yourself is simply a bad habit. At some point you learnt to do it, it was useful (to a point)and it did push you forward. It might be useful sometimes, very occasionally we should be hard on ourselves. But I definitely don’t think we should be hard on ourselves all the time and it definitely shouldn’t be our “default setting.”
We should treat ourselves the same as we treat other people that we care and love and respect. So, ask yourself some better questions and treat yourself a little better and watch your life get better.
I hope that has been a thought provoking video for you. Let me know your thoughts. Have a fabulous day and take care.