So this is a bit controversial but do you think we need to be less harsh on ourselves? I mean in all senses! Physically, mentally, emotionally, literally!
There is a saying that we are our own worst critics. How true do you think this is? What are your own expectations of yourself compared to the expectations you have of other people around you? Do you have higher standards for yourself? Have you ever wondered why? To this day I have never asked why I set myself such high standards, until recently that is. Now I question myself why we are all so much harder on ourselves on numerous occasions.
I can only personally vouch for females (because hey, that’s me) but I am pretty sure I speak for everyone, including men, teens, young adults, basically everyone! DO WE NEED TO BE SO HARSH ON OURSELVES?
I sit sometimes and wonder if my son or daughter, or a friend came up to me and repeated some of the things I tell myself I’d be horrified. I’d be defending them, telling them they are overthinking things, and that they are perfect just the way they are. So why is it so hard to believe it of ourselves. What would you do if it were one of your friends or family members coming to you saying the things that you tell yourself in the mirror? What response would you give to them?
Now I am going to pick on the girls a bit here (sorry about that) but we put ourselves through a lot. Literally! To be fair some of it is quite disgusting too. If we stop for a moment and think about it, we have to deal with the upheaval of our emotions on a monthly basis (if we are lucky to get that long) with our periods and let’s not even start with the level of anxiety around that dreaded letter landing through your door for that ever anticipate (whispering) smear! So why the heck do we then beat ourselves up for spending an extra 10 minutes in the bath, or eating that extra scoop of ice cream? (cookie dough, vanilla, or strawberry cheesecake – the votes are open)
We push ourselves to be the best we can be all the time. Yet when we feel like we fall short of that mark we think it over and ask ourselves why didn’t we do better? We look at all the things we didn’t finish, or we had to leave for another day. Instead of looking at all the things we achieved, and feeling proud, telling ourselves that we actually achieved a lot today we choose to focus on the negatives. Yet automatically we encourage those around us to stay positive.
How often have we individually sat and mulled over a piece of work because its just not good enough, a blog post because it isn’t reading quite right (me! me! me!), sat down in the evening looking at the pile of ironing that needs to be done but just don’t have the motivation to do it.
Yet what did you do instead? That one piece of work may not have been completed, but the other three or four pieces were completed, or the research and the planning for it were done in preparation. That blog post isn’t reading right, but the ideas are there, and it has a really good basis laid down. The ironing might not be done, but for the first time the laundry basket is empty, and you are actually sitting down with a drink that you desperately deserve. These are all amazing achievements.
It isn’t just us girls that do this, everyone does this at some point. What would the benefits be if we all ended the day thinking about what we have done well, looking at the things we have completed in the day, rather than the things we didn’t finish. What differences do you think that would make? With trying to change a mindset it can change your perspective. There are many advantages to this. If you are able to find positivity and hope within yourself, and find focus on your own achievements, then it’ll be possible to encourage those around you to do the same. You will be pleasantly surprised at the impact you can have on those around you by taken a small step on your own journey.
A change in perspective on anything can give you a different view, a bigger view, and something that looks much brighter, positive, and more hopeful. So, if at the end of today you were to sit and ask yourselves, “what have I done today that I am proud of” how many things could you think of? If you can only think of one small thing, that’s amazing, keep asking it every day, and you will find something daily, eventually it will get easier. Then see if you notice how those conversations in the mirror change. Will you continue to be so harsh on yourself?