Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stop being so hard on yourself, the bruises aren't pretty!

I am not sure how I want to put this, but lately I have been thinking about how hard we are on ourselves.  We judge ourselves to a different standard than we hold other's too.  Why is that? Do we think we are better than others? Or do we just like beating ourselves up?  Do we let other people slide because we think they are incapable of doing a job better than us?  Honestly, I think it is more out of insecurity and frustration that we continue to beat ourselves up.  We take it to heart when we don't live up to our own expectations and we rush to judgement on ourselves and consider setbacks as failures.  We all do! You know you do, don't you?  You are your own worse critic, you don't like anything you do, and you constantly think that you could have done it better if you would have just tried harder, or whatever excuse it is that you tell yourself.

The problem is we are harsh with ourselves and we are awful quick to jump to the conclusion that we have failed at whatever task it is that didn't live up to our expectations.  The problem with doing this is your are constantly focusing on the negative, you are painting yourself into thinking you are a failure, you are belittling yourself and undermining your own self-esteem and worth.  If you are constantly doing that to yourself, and you second guess every task you undertake, what do you think others around you are going to think?  Before long everyone around you starts to see you as you do, and it becomes a cycle of abuse and cruelty.  I know that there are some of you out there that think everything must be done perfectly, that if you are off just a smidgen, then your whole project is a ruin and a failure.  Let me fill you in on something, do you know that perfectionism is just a form of procrastination? It really is folks, and guess what, you give a task to a perfectionist and it will never be completed, unless you step in and force them to end their work, because to them, it will never be perfect and therefore it cannot be completed.

I know it is easy to look at yourself and wonder why you aren't further ahead in life, and how you can beat yourself up over little things that shouldn't bother you. I can also understand why you feel that everything you do ends up wrong.  You have have set yourself up into a pattern of abuse that you need to break out of.  It might be something that you have been carrying around for years, it has become so ingrained in your daily life you don't even recognize it anymore.  Or someone in your life has criticized everything you have done and told you that you did it wrong, or you could have done it faster or better this way, or they go out of their way to make you feel bad just about everything that you do.  If any of this is true for you then you need to keep reading, because it isn't true that you are stupid, or dumb, or an idiot, what it means is that you have done something a different way than that other person, and they don't like it. They want to control you and manipulate you and they found that they can do that by using guilt or criticism to wound you.  See, there are those out there that cannot stand to see another person succeed they are so arrogant and set in their ways that they cannot accept that someone could possibly come along and do something any way that is different from their way.  But as I told you the other day there is no wrong or right way to handle a problem or situation, it is just a matter of perspective and working out the details and coming up with a workable solution.  

People that want to control you or manipulate you prey on your fears and weaknesses, they spite you and laugh at you when they are secretly envious, they want to hold you back and make you feel inferior to them because it gives them a rush and makes you feel like you are a failure. These are the people that you have to cut from your life, they are truly undermining your self-esteem and worth, they aren't doing anything for you and keeping you from realizing your own true potential. How can you honestly feel good about your accomplishments or even have a sense of fulfillment in a completed job if everyone around you is telling you that you are no good and nothing you ever do is right. Don't let yourself be caught up in this trap.  Because once you have fallen into it, it becomes so easy to stay there.  I can honestly tell you, that you may have already fallen into the trap in your youth or childhood and that is why you berate and belittle yourself now.  So if you are following me so far, you can see that there are two ways in which you fall into this pattern of behavior, the first is that you are always so hard on yourself that everyone around you begins to judge and see you as you do. Or you have people that have torn apart your self-esteem and question how you do everything.  In both cases the end result is the same, you find yourself always feeling that your best is never good enough and that everything you do fall short of your expectations.

But going back to my original question why are we so hard on ourselves?  The reason is because we have no confidence in the decisions we make or the actions we do.  So my advice to you is to start to do things for yourself, prove to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind too.  That you don't need anyone else's approval or appreciation.  A line from one of my favorite movies is " I have taught myself how to cook, clean, sew, fix a pipe, and pat myself on the back, just so I don't have to ask you to do it".  This should be your motto too. I want you to remember you have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself.  You are your own person, and let's face it you came into the world naked and alone, and we all leave exactly the same way, naked and alone.  So to look for someone else's approval or opinion of what we do is really not worth it at all.

I want you to take pride in all that you do, even if it isn't perfect.  You know why because nothing ever is perfect, if it was we would have nothing to worry about or stress over. I also want you to look closely in the mirror and tell yourself you have come this far all on your own, you can succeed because you don't need anyone.  When you try to please everyone at the same time you end up making some of them happy, but not all, the only person you are guaranteed to make happy all the time is yourself, but that is if you do for yourself and don't care what anyone else around you thinks.  I have told you before when you let someone else dictate how you feel or makes you feel guilty in some way then you have given them way too much power over you, and you need to take that power back.  Further, when you feel like berating yourself or getting mad because something didn't go exactly as planned, you need to really look at it and give yourself credit for accomplishing the task at all.

You must respect and love yourself and accept that you are not perfect, none of us are, so why do you expect everything you do to be perfect?  Now I ask you to cut yourself some slack just like you would someone else, because you are just like them.  Put forth your best effort and be content with the result, build up your confidence and self-esteem and you will see that life starts getting a bit easier for you and your stress level will drop lower.  You will start to feel good about yourself and the negative that you have been holding will be released and as that happens it will be replaced with the positive.  Once the positive starts flowing in your life and mind the more will be attracted too it.  Have faith in your abilities and know that you have given your best. Let go of the small things and cling to what you have done and you will be so much happier in your life.

Stop beating yourself up, stop belittling yourself and give yourself the respect and praise that you deserve, and I promise you those around you will start to do the same, and if they don't let them go and move on, because you and only you have your best interest at heart.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B