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How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

Guess what?!!! We ALL are incredibly hard on ourselves sometimes…and sometimes we are hard on others, too (if only in our thoughts).

Do you know why?

Because deep down we know that we can make pivotal, real, sustainable change once we commit to it – and we can inspire growth in others, too. It is human nature to think getting down on ourselves and others is the way to get to that commitment – the way to ignite change.

It’s not.

If you want to stop beating yourself up:

1. Love yourself – your shortcomings and the heavy feelings that ride along with them (the shame…disappointment…fear…and feelings of inadequacy) . Our heavy emotions are big, and don’t feel great. Only by looking at them and accepting them can you free them…and yourself…to experience the more that awaits.

If you find yourself getting down on yourself (or others), try taking a few deep breaths and then responding with love, compassion and acceptance instead. Self-love does not make you complacent. It is the first step in growing into the sustainable change you have been longing for.

2. Get clear on what you want next. When you hit a challenge, it is easy to lose your focus. We think, “I didn’t want that to happen!” and then our focus stays on that thought. In our thoughts we might focus on dissecting the problem instead of building a solution. Ooops!

Instead, ask yourself, your heart, “What do I WANT to happen next, in the future? Let go of the form of that desire (the specific person, job, dollar amount, etc.) and define the essence (What will it provide you? What will it provide others? How might it be better than you experienced in the past?).

3. Give yourself time.

When you hurt your body, you know it will take time to heal. When you are in the habit of hurting yourself with self-berating thoughts, it will take time, too. Remind yourself, “I am being hard on myself because I care about something. I can’t control what happened, or what didn’t happen, but I can control my focus.”  Then return your thoughts to what you want next, the things you defined in step two.

Flipping your focus from “I’m not…” to “I want…” in this manner will help you feel better, establish new ways of treating yourself and habits of thinking, and support you in taking effective actions towards your goals.

Patty Jackson

PS: It can be hard to see all your habits of thoughts and stay committed to your forward focus. Old habits are alluring and easy to fall back into. They have most of the momentum at first. My team of coaches and I are here to support you, should you want guidance from a neutral perspective.