Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself: Breaking Out of Negativity


I think we all need this reminder once in a while: to not be too hard on ourselves. I personally believe that being too strict with yourself is not good for the soul.

When we are always too strict and upset with ourselves, it creates negative thought patterns and we turn into pessimistic people.

Not sure where to start? Here are some ways to keep the pressure off yourself.

#1. Recognize and record your negativity.

Over the course of a week, monitor your thought patterns when anything happens. This could be done by writing them in a journal or in your phone, but monitor them.

After you’ve written down your thoughts for the week, analyze them. Learn to recognize unhealthy thought patterns.

Negative thought patterns could look like the following: if you’ve scored well on an assignment, but not scored a 100%, you are disappointed with yourself.

#2. Pick out the positives.

Now, go back over all of the negative thoughts that you’ve collected. Take each event and pick out the positive things that came from it.

If you did fail that assignment, you need to understand why you did so and re-learn the missed material or study harder for the future.

If you did slip up on your diet, understand why you did and use the experience as motivation for eating even healthier in the future.

Being negative is easy the easy thing to do, but being positive will improve your life in multitudes.

I challenge you to pick out at least three positives for every negative thought you have this week, and see what happens.

#3. Understand what it means to be human.

Every mistake you do make is a real learning experience, and it is vitally important to be viewed as a life lesson to learn from.

Even the most seemingly perfect people make mistakes. Einstein failed high school, and Steve Jobs was once fired from Apple!

But do you think Jobs beat himself up over his mistakes? He learned from them and in doing so will now go down in history.

Remind yourself that mistakes and failures do not actually define you as a person, but what you do and how you deal with them does.

You will encounter mistakes and obstacles for the rest of your life, so the sooner you start looking at them with positives in mind, the sooner you’ll begin to grow as a person.

#4. Celebrate yourself.

Now, because you are human and make so many mistakes, it can be so easy to get lost in them and forget why you’re wonderful.

Say you didn’t get the job after you thought you nailed the interview. That’s okay! Maybe that desk job couldn’t have utilized your outgoing personality and quirky sense of humor.

Maybe you were late to class today, but it was because you had studied so hard and you ended up actually acing the exam when you got there.

The point is that you really do need to not dwell on what you did wrong, and celebrate what you did so right. Don’t forget to remind yourself daily why you are valuable and appreciate yourself.

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