Are you too hard on yourself? I know I am too hard on myself. I beat myself up quite a bit for the tiniest perceived mistakes. Then, I beat myself up for beating myself up. I have very high expectations of myself and of my personal performance on any given task. So, when I don’t meet my expectations, I judge myself and harshly at that. As I started to notice my internal dialogue, I recognized the harshness I presented toward myself. I wouldn’t treat another person that way and I wouldn’t want someone else to treat me the way I was treating myself. This negative internal dialogue has become a very bad habit, and I end up getting completely off center when I get into this negative thought pattern.
I wondered why criticism feel so normal to me when I know it’s not. Then, I began to examine why I was criticizing and berating myself for not hitting the bar I expected for the perfect me. I discovered a few reasons.
I would holler at myself to be more careful. As if screaming at myself would make careless mistakes stop, but all it did was create a lot of negative energy.
2. I set a goal for myself and didn’t reach it.
I didn’t get accepted into a writing program and instead of attacking my manuscript, I sat on it. I’ve been sitting on it for a couple of months now and am only just now starting to rethink how to structure my novel so that it will improve. Now I see that it will be much better as a result of this setback. There was no need to engage in a pity party. I love myself and my story. So, I must carry on. Being mean to myself won’t help me reach the goal and being in a constant position of striving, shouldn’t feel normal the way self-criticism shouldn’t. Neither will get you ahead.
3. I didn’t advance at my expected pace.
Writing is a craft and so is any other art form. I’d like as much as anyone else to be able to go to sleep and wake up with a fine tuned, advanced craft. Realistically art doesn’t work that way. It’s a process that combines intellect and emotion and it takes practice. When I found I didn’t advance in honing my crafts as quickly as expected, I tend to get frustrated and feel sorry for myself. Those negative emotions only inhibit growth. It stems from a ego and low self-esteem about my art.
Now I’ve seen the error of my misguided energy, it’s possible to change. That’s a lot of valuable energy that can be put to good use. Judging yourself only creates a flywheel of negativity that spins until it spins out of control. I’m not suggesting that you stop paying attention to growing as a person or artist. I’m saying that you shouldn’t abuse yourself and waste useful energy on useless thoughts and emotions. If you find you have issues with judging yourself too harshly, monitor your internal dialogue. When you develop self-awareness of it, it takes the power away, and you can begin the process of change to love and accept yourself as you are, mistakes and all. Now, I decided I’m not going to get angry or jealous; I’m going to get GOOD. It’s better to invest all that wasted energy into growing self- love. Develop yourself as a person. Develop yourself as an artist. I”m motivating myself with love, not criticism. Anytime I do that, I feel energized and empowered to fight the good fight and finish my race.
Go Get Good with me because you can!