We usually hold ourselves to higher standards than we do others. But when our perfectionism becomes negative self-judgement, we might be creating a toxic environment for ourselves. If you catch yourself criticizing yourself too often, it’s time to look at how you’re treating yourself. Would you be this hard on someone else? Here are six tips for being less hard on yourself and showing yourself compassion.
Only say good things about yourself
The words we use are so powerful, if you repeatedly tell people you’re worthless, or stupid, or crazy, not only will you begin to believe it, but you will also change the way others see you. if you catch yourself using negative self-talk, either internal or out loud, immediately correct yourself and find a more positive way of describing your behavior. The actions we take are not who we are. Talk to yourself the way you would a friend or family member. Be encouraging and patient.
Accept your imperfections
You can have flaws and recognize them, but that doesn’t mean you need to beat yourself up for them. If you can work on something and change it, great. If it’s something you know in your heart you’ll always have, accept it. No one is perfect. Instead of focusing on your mistakes and imperfections, focus on the great things you’ve accomplished. Celebrate your strengths and recognize your own unique contributions to the world.
Use mindfulness to stay positive
Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the moment, and observing the self from the outside as it happens. It’s a way of managing anxiety and stress, and it can just as easily be applied to self-judgement. Try meditation and deep breathing, go for a walk and just “be” in silence when you feel your self talk is getting the best of you. Allow your thoughts and feelings to just exist in that moment but don’t give them more attention then they deserve. Let go and just allow these thoughts to come and go, removing the power you attach to them.
If you’ve made a mistake or embarassed yourself in front of someone, remember that everyone is human and so are you. Think about how you would react if someone else had acted this way. Would you be as harsh as you are with yourself? Show yourself some love by forgiving yourself for things you can’t change. You only have this moment now, the past is over and the future hasn’t happened yet.
Recognize your accomplishments
Name your successes, either outloud or on paper. After working hard on a project, take time off to rest and celebrate. Make it a habit to schedule time to just enjoy the great things in your life. Share your accomplishments with the people you love, involve them in your celebration and create small rituals that allow you to enjoy life without the pressure of constantly being productive.
Shift your way of thinking
If you find that you often feel anxious, depressed, guilty, or a shamed, make it a priority to work on your mindset. By shifting your thoughts away from negative feelings and beliefs, you give yourself room to create the space for loving and caring about yourself more. Change your thoughts and inner dialogue through personal development, books, coaching, counselling, and other resources. Be kinder to yourself and allow yourself to grow and change some of your limiting behaviours.