Stop Beating Yourself Up
For many years I suffered from an extreme behavior; that of beating myself up for things that I didn’t do or did do.
I never needed anyone to hold me up to any accountability or standards. I did that on my own and to such a high level that it was obvious that I had set myself up for failure.
At a certain point, things got so bad that I even imagined taking my own head and hitting it against a wall. My mind wanted me to pay for being stupid or for not being perfect.
It was then that I realized that the compassion I offered to others when they were less than perfect, I should also give myself before I crushed under the weight of my intolerance.
So, I became active in silencing or at least quieting the demanding and intolerant voice within.
I started by asking myself every time the inner-critic spoke up, how I would respond if this same situation was happening to someone else. Once the question was asked, the response was always: with kindness and compassion. My logical mind than would think: If I can treat others like that, why can’t I treat myself the same way?
The next step was to simply breathe. It is amazing what a slow deep breath can do to the psyche. It grounds and calms the brain and the heart down.
Lastly, instead of letting my mind ruminate over and over the same situation, I distracted myself by becoming engaged in a different activity.
Beating oneself up is not constructive. No matter how you try to justify the inner-dialogue – “I’m holding myself up to high standards” “I need to learn” etc. – this type of self-flagellation does nothing beyond responding to an erroneous part of ourselves that believes if we create the hurt the real hurt will go away.
Please read on.
Why We Need to Have Compassion for Our Inner Critic
By Kristin Neff
We know how much it hurts. “I’m an idiot!” “I’m disgusting.” “No one will ever love me.” “What a lame-ass.”
So why do we do it? As soon as we ask ourselves this question, we often just pile on more self-criticism. “I’m such a bitch, even to myself.” “That’s why I’m such a loser, I’m always putting myself down.” Continued…