A common theme among many people is that we tend to beat ourselves up and be our own worst critic, especially during challenging times. But when is this ever productive, and what good comes out it? Not much at all.
So let’s talk about how we can stop being so hard on ourselves, how to stop fighting with our minds and heal through negative emotions, how to change the language we use from negative to positive, and the 3 tips I recommend to stop beating ourselves up right NOW.
WHAT YOU WILL DISCOVER
Why beating yourself up is a form of abuse
How to use positive affirmations and word changes to make yourself feel good
How to heal through past emotions and drop disempowering labels
3 ways to stop beating yourself up RIGHT NOW
FEATURED ON THE SHOW
Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to Happy Productive episode number 23. My name is Jennifer Dawn and I’m a business coach and founder of the Best Planner Ever. The Happy Productive podcast is your go to resource for learning how to bring awareness into your productivity, your goals, and your time management practices so you can set yourself up each and every day for as much love and joy and happiness as you can possibly handle.
Today we’re going to be talking about how to stop beating yourself up, like right now! I love this topic, because it’s so relevant and to some extent or another, let’s face it, we’ve all been hard on ourselves and I have to ask why? What good did it really do beating ourselves up over and over again and I’m going to say not much, okay. And this is something that I’ve definitely had to work to overcome and I see this with a lot of my clients too just really, truly amazing people who, for whatever reason, have gotten themselves into the mindset and the habit of always being really hard on themselves.
Even when they achieve great things, they kind of like take away that success, that achievement, those positive emotions, like take that that stuff away from themselves and replace it with being really hard on themselves, beating themselves up and it really is just a joy killer. And a joy stealer, right? It just steals all your joy and that is definitely not what we want to have happen.
Okay, so let’s think about this for a second. Think about if you have children, your child, or maybe a best friend or any person in your life who you really really love. Let’s say that they did something stupid, okay, and they messed up whatever that might have been. They did something dumb and they messed up and they’re hurt and they come to you for support. When this person that you really love comes to you for support, do you tell them how stupid they are? Do you berate them for their mistakes? Do you make them feel horrible? Do you shame them? Do you guilt them? Well, of course not. And I certainly hope not or you are not being a very good parent or friend, or whatever it might be.
And so of course not right. When somebody that we love comes to us, we want to help them feel better. We might even point out to them that, hey, everyone makes mistakes, maybe based on the information that they had they made the best choice at the time. Maybe we even ask them, Hey, what did you learn? How could you do better next time, right? And it’s no different for ourselves, but for whatever reason, we don’t treat ourselves the way that we would treat a best friend or a loved one.
Instead, we make a mistake or a wrong choice, and then we kill ourselves for it. And this could last for days, weeks, even years. I’ve seen entire lifetimes that have been wasted by people beating themselves up over and over again. And guys, it’s a waste and it’s so sad. And let’s just stop doing it.
So let’s ask the question, how can you stop being so hard on yourself? And the first step with this is to see it for what it is. This is abuse, right? We might look at, you know, an abuser, and put that in quotes and abuser, and we might judge them, we might think bad of them. We think they’re terrible, right? Somebody’s abusing another person. But this is what we’re doing to ourselves. We are taking away our own power and it is absolutely a form of abuse.
We’re setting unrealistic expectations on ourselves to be perfect, which is utterly impossible. And so if you really want to stop being so hard on yourself, the very first decision that you have to make is to STOP. It’s a choice, you have to make the choice that I’m going to stop doing this to myself. Now, does it mean that once you make that decision, then it’s just immediately going to stop and you’ll be free from it forever? No, of course not. You’re going to then need to use some tools to support the decision that you’ve made. And that’s really what this comes down to is making a decision and then using the tools.
And so what tools you might be asking, well, some of the tools might include positive affirmations. So instead of using negative affirmations and saying things that make yourself feel terrible, and beating yourself up, look at that language that you’re using and flip it. Find positive affirmations that make you feel really, really good. Sometimes all you have to do is change one word, I have a client and she said that you know, everything, everything meaning everything in her life, work, relationships, her you know, even her personal time everything was hard, right? That was the believe everything in my life is hard.
And so all we did was we changed the word hard. We changed it to play. And so my relationships are play. My work is play everything in her life was playing for her that word meant a lot. So every time she caught herself thinking, everything you know, is hard, she would change it to everything is play. And that really helped her to change that thinking. And so this is where positive affirmations can be so powerful because sometimes it’s just one word.
I had another client who said, I’m a resistor, right? I resist everything. I want to resist everything. And so we change the word resist to release. I’m a releaser. I let everything go nothing sticks with me, right? I’m a releaser. And so sometimes it’s just one word.
Another great tool is the Best Planner Ever. If you don’t already have one, grab one at the top of the Best Planner Ever each and every day. You can set your affirmation. It’s a great place to start your day, write down Your affirmation, and then you written it down. So if you get track, get off track as you go through the day, you’ve got a place you can come right back to.
Inside the planner, you can also use the Momentum Grid or the Habit Tracker, right, start creating a new healthy habit and every time you don’t beat yourself up or you catch yourself going down that road and you stop and you just do something different. I love the habit tracker because you can just check the box and start keeping track of how many times you’ve set that new healthy habit.
The other thing to do is surround yourself with positive people, right, don’t feed that abusive, destructive behavior. And sometimes we surround ourselves with people who want to enable us to keep beating ourselves up, and that’s not good. So look at who you’re hanging around with and do your best to surround yourself with people or if you don’t have people get people. There are plenty of coaches and groups and all kinds of wonderful, wonderful communities that you can become part of that surround themselves with positive healthy loving behavior. And so this is where this is where you want to be to feed the good stuff, and not keep fueling that destructive pattern of always being really hard on yourself and beating yourself up.
Now let’s say that you did make a big mistake, and there were some, some really negative consequences about that. And you just like can’t stop thinking about it. Right? So how do you stop thinking about your mistakes? Well, the answer is you don’t, you don’t. There’s really nothing you can do to force yourself to stop thinking about it.
Now, this is where people try all kinds of things, right? they distract themselves and keep themselves super busy so that they don’t have to think about it. They might resort to drugs or alcohol to kind of numb that pain and get some relief from it. So they don’t have to think about it, but it always comes back you guys it always comes back. And those are really not good ways of dealing with it. Please, please don’t use drugs. They have no good outcome.
So instead what you want to do is stop fighting with your mind and instead work to heal it work to heal whatever it was that happened to you that is causing your brain to go on overdrive and think about these past mistakes right? This is this is the answer you don’t just force yourself to stop thinking about this stuff. You heal what happened, you accept what happened, you learn and you grow from your mistakes. And when you do this, when you learn and you grow, your mind will naturally all on its own stop thinking about it.
When you fight with your mind, it’s always going to be a losing battle. So instead what you want to do is when that thought comes up, just sit with it. If it makes you feel a negative emotion, it’s okay I promise nobody ever died from allowing themselves to feel a negative emotion. And so what we want to do is sit with it. Instead of trying to push it away or distract ourselves or resort to you know, food. Dude, alcohol, sex, shopping all of those things. Instead, what we want to do is just sit with it. Relax, breathe, and just set your intention to release it.
If you accept where you are right now in this moment, and start the process of just making peace with whatever it was that happened in the past, and make the choice to let it go. And when that thought pops up again, it’s okay. Just repeat the process. Sit with it, relax, breathe, release it. And as you release in the moment, it’s actually also going to help you release any of the stuff from the past that you’ve like pushed down. And you’re going to want to give yourself time and space to just work through whatever it is for however long it takes.
But just set your intention. You know what, I’m not going to do anything destructive. Instead, what I’m going to do is I’m just going to give myself time and space to work through whatever that mistake might have been. If it’s really, really bugging you, you can also journal it out. Use this exercise to, you know, clear out those repressed emotions. If you’ve been working with me, you’ve heard of the journaling exercise. If you’re new to me, that’s great, thank you, happy to have you here.
I have a journal called the Best Journal Ever, and it works perfectly for helping you and this is what it’s designed for to help you clear out repressed emotions. And the idea behind it is to set a timer and just put on paper, everything that you’re feeling, say whatever, you know, you can’t say out loud, or you’re not allowed to say, say it on that paper and go for 15 or 20 minutes. And at the end of the time, you take those papers and you rip them up and you destroy them.
It becomes a safe space for you to explore and release any of your negative emotions, but that’s what makes it a safe space is that you rip that paper up and you destroy it at the end of your journaling time. In the Best Journal Ever the pages. It’s a spiral bound journal, the pages are actually designed to be ripped out and torn up. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a journal like that. And so that’s what it is specifically made for.
So don’t force yourself to try and stop thinking about these past mistakes. Instead, work with your mind and use the tools to process and he’ll in whatever time it takes. And when you do this, your mind will naturally just let it go.
Now what happens when you make new mistakes? Well, congratulations, your human being. Right? You’re now with the rest of us, you’re always going to make mistakes. Or maybe you’re going to make a choice based on limited information or poor information. We’re all doing our best in in the moment, right? But that doesn’t mean that we’re ever going to be perfect. So we have to learn how to cut ourselves some slack.
And one way to do this is to start to identify any labels that you might have put upon yourself. And here’s what I mean by that. Let’s say that you call your yourself Type A, and everybody who knows what a Type A is pretty much means that you tend to be uptight, maybe you tend to be controlling and those things are also going to tend to generate a lot of stress.
Now, you’re going to make mistakes, you really have zero control over anything except maybe your own thinking you do have some control over that even sometimes our thoughts pop up without our control. But generally what we have control over is ourselves. Everything else is just an illusion. So going forward, I’m curious, how would your life be different if you decided to drop that label of Type A?
Now just think about that for a second. It’s a label you’ve bought into and you put upon yourself, and perhaps it makes you a little more uptight, a little more controlling, and a lot more stressed out than you really needed to be. If you decided you’re going to drop that label. How would that change your life? You do have the power to do this.
Or maybe the label you put upon yourself is that you’re a perfectionist. Think about that. I’m a perfectionist. Think about the stress, having a label on yourself like that generates when you make a mistake. Or maybe I’m a procrastinator, because you’ve decided that you’re a procrastinator, and that’s just who you are. Now you procrastinate. And what does that lead to? Probably more mistakes, right? You’re leaving things to the very last minute not really able to do as good of a job as you could do. If you weren’t procrastinating.
Or maybe you’ve labeled yourself as a bad decision maker, or whatever it might be for you. What have you labeled yourself as? Think about that for a second? What if you decided to just drop that label? How would that change your life when it came to making new mistakes? Could you be easier on yourself? Could you be more forgiving? Could you, would that help you to like stop beating yourself up?
Now in this episode, I promise 3 ways to stop beating yourself up like NOW. And to just recap here they are, number 1, make the decision right now today to stop abusing yourself. That’s what this is. It’s a form of abuse, it serves no useful power. Take back your power by making the decision that you’re going to stop beating yourself up. And that’s really where it starts you guys is with you making your own decision.
Number 2, heal and process any of your negative emotions that might be causing you to be so hard on yourself. Use the tools to do this the affirmations, the planner, the journal, use whatever tools you need to start healing and processing those negative emotions instead of just beating yourself up.
And number 3, identify any labels that you put upon yourself and please consider just dropping them. We all make mistakes. It is only human and honestly it’s just sort of exacerbating the situation when you add these labels to it. And now you somehow have bought into this idea that beating yourself up is the way to go because it’s not.
Now these are all powerful steps that you can take but here’s the deal, nobody can do this work for you. This is really your choice. If you want to stop the behavior, you totally can, but it’s going to take patience and it’s going to take some work and it’s going to take some effort on your part, but I know you can do it.
Now if you would like some help with this of course come check me out at jenniferdawncoaching.com I am a business coach and I really love helping entrepreneurs through this. If today is the day that you’re like, hey, I need a better time management system that will actually support my mindset will support my success. Consider choosing a Best Planner Ever. And you can also check out the Best Journal Ever. And both of those are on my website. bestplannerever.com.
Okay, you guys, thank you so much for Being here with me and listening today. Get out there and go have a Happy Productive Day!