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on avoiding self-bashing

Posted Jun 05 2012 7:00am

Today’s post is a great guest post from Nescett about how we as women (and men!) can avoid the comparison trap and bashing ourselves.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been noticing a trend among my female friends:  self-bashing.  These are smart, beautiful, successful women who have every reason to be proud of their accomplishments, but instead they, like many of us, focus on the failures, the stumbles, the things they could have done better.

Soph and Me

Growing up an only child with a very strong and capable mother, I’ve often felt that I wasn’t quite doing good enough.  No one was making me feel this way, it  was all my inner critic, telling me that I needed to do more, better, faster.  I didn’t take time to appreciate what I’d done and fear of failure often held me back from doing more.  Over the last few years, I’ve had several people with very different relationships (personal, professional, etc.) point out that I’m really hard on myself.  If I’ve done something well, even very well, I still focus and zero in on the one area where I think I should have done something better, or different.

So how do we quiet that inner critic and practice Ashimsa , kindness and non-violence to all living things, with ourselves?  How do we learn to be kind to ourselves?

  • Take stock of all that you have accomplished.  Celebrate even your little successes.  Your accomplishments may not be the same as your friends, your co-workers, our your siblings but they are all yours and are worth feeling proud of.  Different paths are what make you uniquely you.
  • Remind yourself that it’s never too late.  Just figuring out what you want from your career in your 30′s?  Not married when you thought you’d be?  Don’t beat yourself up for being a late bloomer.  Life is very long and there’s always time.  Remind yourself that you are where you are supposed to be.  Don’t get stuck in past regrets or anxious about the future.  Accept that you are where you are and from there you can grow.
  • Avoid comparisons.  It’s easy to feel like everyone around you is in a better place, but everyone has their own anxieties and insecurities.  Remember that you are leading your life on your timeline.
  • Give yourself a break!  Those of us who tend to be most self-critical are often perfectionists who feel like our best is never good enough.  But it is!  Our inner critic is what keeps us focused and working hard, but remember that you’re always doing your best, and it’s great.  Take time to appreciate that.

Practice loving and praising yourself the way you love and praise others in your life.  You deserve it.  I’m a great mom who is raising a great daughter.  I need to learn to silence my inner critic, be proud of what I’ve done, and teach my daughter to be proud of her own accomplishments every single day.

Question: How do you avoid self-bashing or help to love yourself?

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