Do you have days when you did something wrong or something in your life went tits up and you can’t let it go?
You keep ruminating over what you could have done better? Or blaming yourself for being so stupid? For not being good enough? It’s not very nice place to be is it? I hope this blog will show you how to stop beating yourself up and a way to get through those negative times.
Today I’m deviating from my superfood blogs. I missed last week’s blog as I’ve had a week, no, 2 weeks of crap. Just as I was beginning to get mobile again and feel like I was getting my life back, I contracted a rather nasty UTI. With my bladder history this was excruciatingly painful. Basically I just wanted the world to F off and leave me alone.
I felt depressed and scared of what was happening, once again, what it all meant physically and how it would affect my future. I got into a dark space for several days.
I signed up to the 30 day free trial on Amazon prime AND Netflix and from under the duvet, gorged on movies and TV shows. I just cut myself off from the real world and from myself.
I had To Stop Beating Myself Up
Then after a week, I was bored and fed up of feeling so down. I began to realise that if I was to break my old habits and become the person I wanted to be, I had to act like that person. I had to think like that person.
So I turned to one of the books that I’d recently read which had resonated with me.
‘Self-Compassion Stop Beating Yourself Up And Leave Insecurity Behind.’ By Kristin Neff PhD.
I’d seen Kristen deliver a Mindfulness talk on self-compassion a few months ago and it had inspired me to read her book. Based on many years of research and her own experiences, the book was fascinating and opened my eyes to the way I’d been too demanding on myself; Always blaming myself if things in life that didn’t go ‘to plan’ or for not succeeding at something in my career. Talk about pressure!
We are constantly judging ourselves. In the moment of being upset at something we’ve done or experienced, it’s difficult to see how hard the situation actually is – for us. As a human being simply trying to be happy in life.
We get caught up in the pain of the moment, our minds go racing, blaming, judging, being self-critical, ‘Why did this happen?’, I’m such an idiot’, ‘There I go again, screwing up’, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ Its hard to see how to stop beating yourself up.
But the fact of life is that we all make mistakes. No one and no life is perfect. What is there to be gained by beating ourselves up? Nothing. Only more sadness and frustration.
We can show ourselves some self-compassion, tell ourselves its OK to feel upset, be scared, be angry, we’re only human and we will make mistakes.
We deserve compassion – why wouldn’t we? We are living beings on this beautiful planet with as much right to compassion as anyone, as anything, else.
In a highly competitive society it’s hard to be imperfect.
Too often we think that we’re not good enough.
But if we open up and accept that life is imperfect, that to live life is to BE imperfect. If we allow life to be as it is, open up to feeling compassion for ourselves, let ourselves feel upset, in pain, overwhelmed, and acknowledge it, this opens up endless possibilities to moving forward in a far happier space.
How To Stop Beating Yourself Up – Do this one thing
How do I know this? Well I did some work. I practiced a couple of the self compassion exercises in Kristen’s book. I’m not saying I found them comfortable to do – I had to write a letter to myself and then have several conversations with my inner critic together with the part of me feeing criticised. Glad no one was around to see that rather bizarre scenario! 🙂
But I have to tell you that they worked. Something shifted. Feeling some compassion for my situation, allowing the fear, anger and frustration, and stopping the self-criticism relieved my dark mood. In a way, I was being able to give myself a big hug and say it was OK.
We’re only humans living a human experience with all its ups and downs, flaws and perfections, pleasant and unpleasant events. Why make life harder on ourselves by beating ourselves up about the things that go wrong? How to stop beating yourself up? Try some self-compassion; a little goes a long way.
Here’s the link to Kristen’s online exercises, 2 of which are the ones I did.
Oh and if you want any good film tips on what to watch – or avoid! – drop me a line 🙂
Photo thanks to Volkan Olmez
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