We can often be our own worst critic. This means we tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else. Some of us believe that being hard on ourselves will help us to achieve more.
Being self-critical is actually unlikely to help you succeed, and can even hinder your progress. Take a look below for the common reasons many of us are self-critical, and how you can become compassionate instead.
You believe being self-critical is helping you
Many of us have an innate fear that if we don’t push ourselves and beat ourselves up, we will become complacent and lazy. Or, perhaps worse, we worry that we will try and then fail. Our inner voice can tell us that we’re not good enough or that we should be trying harder.
It’s important to question this inner voice. Does it make you feel better or worse listening to it? Is what your inner voice saying even true? Question whether or not it is helping you and chances are you’ll discover that it’s not.
You lack self-compassion
Self-compassion has been proven to be more effective than self-criticism. Studies show those who are self-compassionate are more likely to perform better and persevere longer than those who aren’t. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense – consider how much more inner peace and general stability you would have if you were kinder to yourself.
You have a list of ‘shoulds’
If you are hard on yourself, you may find yourself clinging onto an image of how you ‘should’ be. When you don’t adhere to these ‘shoulds’ you feel demotivated and may want to give up rather than move on. Try to accept yourself as you are and accept that even if things aren’t moving as fast as you want them to, you are still making progress.
You judge others
Many of us fall into the habit of judging others regularly, on a subconscious level. If you can, try to notice this habit and question your motives. Do you do it often? Do you need to address this? If we can become kinder to others it can help us be kinder to ourselves.