8 Way to be Less Hard on Yourself

Being too hard on ourselves is a natural part of being human. We can easily set high expectations for ourselves, resulting in our being harder on ourselves than we would ever consider being on someone else in our lives. While the inner critic can alert us to ways we might improve how we journey through life, beating up on ourselves is not productive and can erode self esteem. 

Here are eight ways that we can take it easier on ourselves: 

1.) Forgive yourself. Face when a mistake is made. Listen earnestly to the inner critic in a nonjudgmental way and note if anything feels valid. Could you improve upon things in the future? Making mistakes is part of being human. You can’t change what happened, but you can learn and grow from it. Make peace with what happened and forgive yourself so that you don’t carry the disappointment with you in the future or stay stuck.

2.) Put things in proper perspective. Things often seem worse in our own minds than what actually occurred. It’s easy to replay things over and over again in our head, making ourselves wrong. It’s important to put a proper perspective on what happened, so you can release it to the past, where it belongs. 

3.) Trust it was the best you could do. Take responsibility for your actions but don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a shame or guilt spiral. All you can do is all you can do, and you are enough as you are. Surrender to the knowledge that you did the best you could with the knowledge and understanding you had in that given moment. Be gentle with yourself.

4.) Words have power, and it’s important to rewrite the messages you are telling yourself. Now that you’re aware of what the voices are telling you, you can begin shifting the negatives. Tell yourself, “Even though I made a mistake, I tried and I have learned from it so that I can be more successful next time.” 

5.) Perfection is bs. We all make mistakes. It’s a natural part of being human. Be honest about why it happened. Are you overextended, or setting unrealistic expectations of yourself? Are you getting the sleep, healthy foods, water and exercise you need to flourish? Life can throw some pretty crazy curveballs our way, and getting through adversities is easier when we optimize, set limits and let go of perfectionism, focusing on the progress made instead.

“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to to dance better than myself.” ~Mikhail Baryshnikov

6.) Life is not a competition or comparison. Don’t focus on being better than others. That’s a no-win that leads to disappointments. Focus on being the best version of yourself possible. By allowing yourself the room to be imperfect, you can surrender to less than ideal outcomes and move forward faster.

7.) Honor what you’re doing right. It’s important to know that you are capable of so much. Taking steps toward living your dreams requires courage and knowing that you are capable of more than you give yourself credit for. Honor the process and give yourself credit for everything that you’re doing right in your life.

8.) Self-Love and compassion is essential. Be patient with yourself. You are human. Treat yourself with the eyes, words and actions of a loving and compassionate friend. Love the beautiful soul that you are, and have compassion for the journey you’re walking. Being human isn’t easy for any of us, but you’re making progress, and moving forward will lead you to more and more successes.