Why Am I So Mean To Myself?Aug 22, 2019
Why Am I So Mean To Myself?
How have you been trying to “fix” your faults?
Do you go into hustle mode, or do you just want to give up?
Both of these responses start with the same flawed premise - that you need fixing in order to be worthy or lovable or enough.
In some strange way, this self-loathing you feel is actually your brain’s way of trying to protect you, like a warning system telling us that we need to act differently to survive. It’s built into all of us.
So we beat ourselves up, try to change what we do, and even who we are.
…And it doesn’t work.
We can’t turn this part of the system off completely, but we can redirect and manage it.
How Do I Stop Being So Mean To Myself?
Feeling unworthy or inadequate is the result of living in a human body that is powered by a human brain, which is naturally programmed to notice what’s wrong with you. To override this tendency and love ourselves, we have to discipline our thoughts and decide purposefully how we want to think about ourselves.
So how do we calm our brain down and turn that warning system off? How do we love ourselves?
#1: Give yourself permission to love yourself
It isn’t about erasing your flaws so you can have permission to love yourself.
The only way to love yourself is to give yourself permission to think loving thoughts about yourself as you are right now. In fact, you require yourself to think new thoughts about yourself, and you stop holding onto the hateful self-loathing thoughts.
One thought that has really helped me is this…
"I am amazing. And I didn't have anything to do with it. Something more amazing than me created me and everybody else is equally amazing. I'm 100 percent awesome and nothing I can do can change that."
#2: Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend
The way you talk to yourself and about yourself matters, and we often talk to ourselves more like enemies than friends. Practice talking to yourself in a way that you would talk to a friend or your child.
I often remind myself that the relationship I have with myself is the most important relationship I will have. Period. And if I wouldn't say it to someone else I no longer allow myself to say it to me.
#3: (re)Define yourself
How do you define yourself? Do you refer to the past or the future? Are you defined by things you’ve done wrong or the amazing possibilities that are available to you? Is your definition of self defined by what others think or say?
You get to choose how you define yourself and you can define yourself any way you want.
We don’t have to define ourselves by who we have been in the past or mistakes we’ve made, and we never get to control what other people think of us.
Other people's opinions will never make you worthy. Your opinion will never make you worthy. You are just worthy already.
Decide who you want to be and what YOU think about you.
#4 Know that you are worthy just as you are
You will never be better than you are right now. You (and every other human being) has infinite worth, no matter what we do.
So that means the solution is not becoming more worthy. The solution is just to recognize that we already are.
When we understand that we can't be better or more worthy or matter more than we already do, then we can just relax and stop chasing that magical, mythical, acceptable version of ourselves. The acceptable version that we never ever arrive at.
#5 Know that you are always a work in progress
These self-loathing thoughts are never going away. It’s just a part of being human.
And I don't tell you that to discourage you. I tell you that to encourage you, so that you don’t beat yourself up when these thoughts come up again and again.
This is the work of our human lives—to overcome that natural programming and redirect our thoughts so that we can get different results.
How do you love yourself and know you're enough? You practice.
There are always opportunities for practice in managing our minds. Override your programming and remember that you are amazing and you didn't have anything to do with it.
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