It can be all too easy to always strive to be number one at all times. And when we fall short of our grand expectations that we place on ourselves, we feel let down. Like we failed. I’ve found that the harder I was on myself in any given situation, I suffered lower self-esteem and self-confidence. I began to speak to myself negatively like I wasn’t good enough and it’s just so easy to spiral downward from there.
However, the next time you try to find yourself in this downward path, here are some actionable tips you can implement into your life to stop being so hard on yourself.
Realize that every experience is an opportunity to learn.
There is no “perfect” or doing something “right”. There’s just opportunities for growth. What you think may not be going right is actually just an area for you to continuously learn from. You also don’t know where the future could take you. That perceived “bump” in your journey could actually just be setting you up for something great down the road.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
I have a lot more to say on this one so a blog post is coming up next month regarding this but if you find that you’re being hard on yourself, maybe it’s because you are comparing your success or where you are at in your journey with where other people are at in theirs. I find that a lot of my comparison has come from what others post on social media. This is just a reminder though that what we see on social media is a highlight reel and is not indicative of what is real and true. We often times don’t see the arguments, the rejections, the work stress, etc. Keep this in mind the next time you find that you are hard on yourself due to where you are at in comparison to someone else.
Embrace the uniqueness of your journey.
No one else will have the same experiences as you and there is beauty in that. Sure our expectations may not be met at times but having enough perspective to know that every single moment in our lives – the good, the bad, the ugly – makes us stronger and better each day.
Ask yourself what you value.
It can be so easy to focus on the minutiae of a day and fixate how we didn’t live up to what we are “supposed” to be or do. But at the end of the day, ask yourself what you value in yourself and for your life. Perhaps the situations where we find ourselves to be particularly hard, are actually not that important in the bigger picture of our lives and what we value most. I know for me I can get caught up in a day’s stress but that email that doesn’t get sent or the project that didn’t get completed, are those indicative to your values? Perhaps not. And perhaps they hold no barring on the kind of human being you are.
Let go of expectations.
I find that when I’m hard on myself it is because I have expectations. Try letting go. Allowing the course of your life to take shape and unfold in the way that it is meant to. Rather than focusing on the outcome of the expectation, focus on the process and the journey. What can you learn along the way in each experience?