13 Signs You Are Being Too Hard on Yourself


How often do you feel dejected for matters as trivial as anything? And how often have you felt that it is only you that deserves to be blamed for anything that has gone wrong and that the torment on you should continue.

We have at some point of time or the other felt this way and even now carry on with that self-admonishing attitude that would never do us any good.

This pattern of thought is nothing but a prison that we create in our own minds, where we lock ourselves as a response to our fear of facing the future, of setting things right.

We feel terribly guilty and believe that I am the only person to be blamed even for a team project that has gone wrong, the reason for which could easily be attributed to a collective failure. And how often has a letdown like this stopped us from performing positively as we move head. Many a times!!!

Like charity, forgiveness should also begin at home. We should learn to realize that we are only human beings and to err is human. We can not lead the rest of our life blaming ourselves for every little thing that has not gone right.

Like anything else in the world our lives will be made of good days as well as bad days. We should learn to accept them in equal spirit and move on.

What is most difficult is to understand as to when we have turned ourselves into pathetic self-critics, even if the signs are staring right at our face. Let’s see if we can identify them and while there is still time. Here are:

13 signs that you are too hard on yourself.

1. You can’t let go thinking about your mistakes.

I confess, I have the tendency to demean myself mentally if I have made a mistake. While a mistake can be simply because you were not aware of something or the other.

The only intelligent thing to do is to accept that we have made a mistake, learn from it, move on and ensure it doesn’t happen again. But no, can’t let go of yourself so easily, right? But it’s time you stop take control of yourself.

2. You are afraid you are not good enough.

Doubt is the biggest poison of all. If you can’t stop blaming yourself for every mistake that happens around you, it is easy for self-doubt to seep into your psyche without you even having noticed it.

If you are performing the task given based on the limited information you have and to the best of your limited capabilities, that should be enough to keep you moving forward.

3. You blame yourself, for things beyond your control.

You are not God. You are only human. You can not control the outcome of everything happening around you. You can of course choose to accept it or try and act, however it is unfair to blame yourself for an outcome which you could have never controlled.

You are limited in your abilities not just from inside but even by factors like society, government, environment and many other things. Can you control all these factors? I can’t. And so, I choose to give an effort to the best of my abilities and accept the outcome.

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4. You always crib for what you don’t have.

Our life till today is a sum total of what we have accomplished and what we have failed at. It is both these factors put together that defines you.

Just like you should not be defined by your successes ignoring your failures, it is supposed to be similar the other way round as well. I don’t keep dwelling on things that I could have accomplished in the past or else I would miss the train of opportunity passing me by at present.

5. You Ignore your own ideas.

Sometimes you might be having the best idea in the team to get a job done. The only pattern of thought that comes to your mind about yourself are all negatives in nature.

You are so hard on yourself that you don’t even speak up and stop yourself from putting an absolutely brilliant idea on the table. And then as the results are not right you get drawn into the vicious cycle of blaming yourself and not letting go.

6. You see negatives in everything.

Are you the type who would easily spot the negative side of everything that happens around you or to you? I am happy I am not, and neither should you be. Everything in life has two sides like a coin.

It is up to us to find the good in everything howsoever insignificant that might be and cling on to it. It is easy to look at only the negatives and attribute them to ourselves. The challenge is to look for the positives and let those guide us forward.

7. You always compare yourself to others.

Not everybody is created equal and neither can you grow up to be same. A man is a sum total of his genes and his surroundings. The surroundings for me might have been more favorable than they were for you.

It is true while we were growing up, while we are at office, or while we are growing old. You just cannot be some one else simply because your situations were different. Be happy with what you are and everything else will fall into place.

8. You accept compliments with fake smile.

We have been so busy telling ourselves that our existence is a complete waste of time and we can never be good at anything, that we can not even believe with good nature when someone genuinely compliments us.

It contradicts the self-admonishing system that we have created internally and therefore can never be motivated.

9. You don’t try to make yourself happy.

You are so hard on yourself that you feel it would be a crime to do something nice for yourself every now and then. When was the last time you took off for a vacation, or went to a movie and a dinner? You don’t remember, right?

You feel you don’t deserve this and it would be a sin to make yourself happy. It’s time you start pampering yourself because the most important person in your life should be yourself.

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10. You appear always cranky.

Even though you are trying to put yourself to blame all the time, from inside you are trying to fight as you can not take the amount of pressure you are putting yourself under.

The result of such internal conflict is that you appear cranky all the time, and that affects your professional and personal life equally.

11. You actually like when someone criticizes you.

Though this might sound like you are in serious need of medication, but this is absolutely normal for a person who is too hard on himself.

When someone else blames you or criticizes you negatively, you will only allow your internal thought process to confirm the same. You will be happy and at peace that what you think about yourself is actually the truth.

12. You allow people to hurt you.

Please understand that for yourself, you should be the most precious being in the world. However, you have over the years only blamed yourself for everything that has happened around you.

You believe that it is nothing but torment that you deserve and now you are absolutely fine even if it is somebody else tormenting you.

13. You feel yourself incompetent.

When you look at the mirror you see only flaws. It is perfectly okay to be with flaws but believe me when I say that even the most incompetent person in the world will have few positives to himself. You can certainly rest assured that you are way up in that ladder. So, have faith in yourself.

Final Thoughts.

Now that you know how to tell when you are getting too hard on yourself, you should make it a point to tackle them with more character. It is ok to be tough on ourselves sometimes, and important too. It gives us character to mend our mistakes and be a better us in future.

But every criticism should be constructive even when we are criticizing ourselves. Don’t let your self-criticism turn into a burden for life.

Accept your mistakes, your shortcomings, your flaws and learn from them. Turn this learning into your strength and always put your best foot forward. Good luck.


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