Self Esteem: 7 signs you are being too harsh on yourself
Self Esteem: We are often our own harshest critics, but some of us have an internal judge constantly giving us negative feedback.
It’s like having a team of movie reviewers in your mind, except this critic never takes a break.
On one hand, being self-critical can be beneficial, as it shows that you care about making a positive impact in the world. People who don’t care about their actions and words typically don’t contribute much.
Therefore, caring about your time on Earth is a positive trait.
However, the problem arises when self-criticism becomes overwhelming, stealing away the joy from life and leading to constant second-guessing.
If you find yourself exhibiting the following signs, it may be an indication that you need to ease up on yourself:
7 signs that show that you are too harsh on yourself
- Your accomplishments are never satisfying enough.
- Others may celebrate your achievements, but you tend to undermine them, believing you could have done better or received more recognition. It’s important to appreciate what you have accomplished.
- You constantly doubt your decisions.
- You not only second-guess yourself but continuously question and doubt every choice you make.
- You downplay your successes.
- Do you diminish your achievements by saying they weren’t significant, or that everyone else can do the same? It’s essential to acknowledge and value your triumphs without diminishing their importance.
- You frequently compare yourself to others.
- Even if you do something great, you always find someone who has done it better. This constant comparison can be emotionally draining. Remember, there will always be someone who appears more successful, attractive, or talented. Instead of competing with others, focus on your personal growth.
- You struggle to sleep due to self-inflicted stress.
- Being hard on yourself often leads to nights filled with worry and anxiety, causing insomnia and late-night distractions.
- You avoid taking risks.
- Fear of failure and the need to be perfect can prevent you from taking risks. The possibility of not meeting your own unrealistic standards becomes a barrier to growth and progress.
- You hold high expectations for others.
- The critical mindset directed at yourself can extend to how you perceive and judge others. Expecting perfection from others can strain your relationships and create unrealistic standards.
It’s important to recognize these signs and learn to be kinder to yourself, allowing for self-compassion and personal growth.
If you tend to be hard on yourself, take a moment to reflect on the following questions to boost your self esteem:
- How is this behavior helping me?
- Consider the purpose or benefit of being overly critical towards yourself. Does it contribute to personal growth, motivation, or improvement? If not, recognize that it may be counterproductive and find alternative ways to support your progress.
- When will I ever reach “good enough” status?
- Reflect on whether constantly striving for perfection or an elusive standard of “good enough” is realistic or attainable. Recognize that perfection is subjective and that striving for progress and personal development is more important than an unattainable ideal.
- Why do I feel less than?
- Examine the underlying reasons for feeling inadequate or lesser than others. Often, these feelings stem from comparison, self-doubt, or external pressures. Identifying the root causes can help you address and challenge these negative beliefs.
- How do these behaviors impede your life and relationships?
- Consider how being hard on yourself affects your well-being and the people around you. Does it hinder your ability to enjoy life, maintain healthy relationships, or pursue opportunities? Recognize the negative impact it may have and explore healthier ways to motivate and support yourself.
- What have you missed out on by being hard on yourself?
- Reflect on any missed opportunities or experiences that resulted from being overly critical of yourself. Consider how embracing self-compassion and a more forgiving mindset could have allowed for greater personal growth and happiness.
- Is this something worth stressing over, or can it go in the “let it go” pile?
- Create two mental “piles” for your thoughts: the “important” pile and the “let it go” pile. Evaluate whether the issues or concerns you’re stressing over truly have a significant impact on your life and well-being. Learn to differentiate between what truly matters and what can be released to reduce unnecessary stress and mental burden.
By asking yourself these questions and consciously shifting your perspective, you can cultivate self-compassion, prioritize what truly matters, and promote a healthier and more balanced approach to self-evaluation.
Recognizing these things can help you tame the critical toxic monster in your head and give that beast the “move out” letter.
You can’t go on beating yourself up and hoping to have a happy life at the same time. The two don’t meet. Don’t waste your life; let go of your internal critic.