Stop Being So Hard on Yourself!

Don't be so hard on yourself.
Be gentle with yourself and remind yourself how caring and loving you are.

There’s one thing we women do better than anything else - we beat ourselves up. It doesn’t matter how far we’ve come or what we’ve learned along the way, no one else is harder on us than we are. We know all too well exactly what we should have done, could have done, would have done differently, and we’re so good at letting ourselves know just exactly how far we’ve fallen short of the mark.

We blame ourselves.

It doesn’t seem to matter what he’s done; we have so much grace for him, all too much understanding for him, and every possible excuse ready for his behavior that deserves just as much if not more of a critique than we give ourselves. But if it’s him and what he’s done or didn’t do, we’ll forgive him. And understand and even sympathize with him. But if it’s us, well, forget it. We expect perfection of ourselves and absolutely nothing less. No compassion, no understanding, no grace, no excuses, no leeway, and certainly no forgiveness. It doesn’t matter that this kind of treatment of our beautiful, soft souls is completely self-defeating and self-destructive. It doesn’t make us suddenly become exactly the woman we want to be; in fact, it has the exact opposite effect. Our self-esteem and our self-confidence plummet as we realize once again that we’ve done it (insert whatever your personal itis) again. Whether we’ve found ourselves in yet another relationship all too similar to the last one with the same guy, just a different name and face, even though we’d sworn we’d never wind up there again. Whether we backed down one more time on our values that we told ourselves we’d never compromise on again after what happened last time. Whether we didn’t call him on the behavior that we said we’d never put up with from him again. The end result is the same: we're beating ourselves up again. There’s no one who holds us to such high expectations and expects nothing but perfection from us like we do. Over and over and over again. If you can relate, I have only one thing to say (and I'm saying this from experience):

It’s time to stop.

It’s time to stop treating yourself like this. It only fills you with self doubt and doesn't help you at all. If you’re ever going to change this current pattern, it starts with doing the opposite – and that means being gentle and caring and loving with yourself instead. It also means going easy on yourself. It means learning to look at yourself with love and compassion and understanding. And realizing that you, too, are human; you are a work in progress learning about living and loving. And one thing you need to learn is to give to yourself as much or more than you give to everyone else. Because it’s in the loving of yourself, in the unconditional acceptance of each and every part of you that you will find the courage and strength to become everything that you want to be. So the next time you hear that inner voice telling you what you did wrong, how you messed up again, how you let it happen again, or whatever it is, stop her, and let her know, in no uncertain terms, that you're not going to let her talk to you like that anymore. Then remind her of what a wonderful, beautiful, loving, caring person that you are.


  1. says

    Just another day, I was talking to a lady and she said that she is getting old and her partner may lose interest in her, I just told her that every person is beautiful, and you are may be the most beautiful person in the world for your partner and you are just killing yourself over a thought that may not be even true. You are right about everything you've said, I am a guy but I have been solving relationship problems of people since a long time now, and everyday I find women being very hard on themselves and I just try to remind them how beautiful and loving they are.
    I like your website. Keep up the good work. Regards

    • Jane says

      Thanks Bhupesh - I'm glad you like the site. I checked out your site also - I love the poems!

      Beautiful words to lighten any heart.

  2. diana says

    Funny how i ran into this post...for the past couple of days i've been beating myself up because i always try to stand up for myself...i recently went on a date with a guy who hasn't been treating me the best way i deserve...he doesnt contact me as much and if he does, its always at odd hours of the night, sends me more texts than phone calls, and even our last date he had me going crazy wondering if i was going to be stood up (because he was almost 2 hrs late!) i really felt like i was being treated like i was last resort and it made me feel like crap....point is, by the end of the date i told him how i felt because he said that actions speak louder than words and i decided to be upfront and simply let him know if that's the case then his actions are telling me hes not interested and he took it he wrong way and thought i was clingy or possibly crazy because i was being honest with him on how he was treating me. i never heard from him again and i was wondering...i thought i did the right thing by putting my foot down and letting him know i dont tolerate games so if i made the best decision for myself, why do i end up beating myself up for doing the right thing? why do i make a final decision that is whats best for me yet a few days later i start second guessing myself and feeling bad about it?...this article helped me understand that its my negative inner voice!

    • Jane says

      I'm so glad this article helped clarify this for you, Diana; it really is true. There is that part of so many of us that has never felt we had the right to to stand up for ourselves like you did and honor our true selves in the process. That's why we are so uncomfortable that we second guess ourselves and beat ourselves up when we finally do! You so did the right thing! And not just because it's so much better in the end to be direct in our communication, but more importantly, because you were true to yourself in standing up for what you were ok with. That is huge!

      Most of us who second guess ourselves like this also struggle with boundaries, so you may also want to check out the post I wrote on this.

  3. Kaylamarie says

    This site and all of the pages I've read this far have really helped to lighten my heart. I haven't been in the dating scene for a while because I am 22 and was in a relationship for five years.
    The last year I've been trying to immerse myself into the dating scene with one let down after another.all similar situations where I have a wonderful time and they expressed interest in seeing me again-and I don't hear back. I went out on a date the other day with a young man I have been casually chatting with all month,really hit it off and against my better judgement I ended up going to bed with him. After making what I figured my first mistake I went ahead and told him that same night that I wasn't interested in a friend's with benefits thing and he agreed for the third time that night that he wanted to see me again and would like to pursue something.
    Upon leaving I felt a little better even with the weight of my first mistake heavy in my stomach. Later that day (in the evening) I sent him a text just to express what a good time I had only to receive silence. I continued to beat myself up till the following day. Today I made another attempt to reach out by giving him a call and there was no answer or even a voicemail established.
    I'm still struggling with keeping myself from judging every little thing I did wrong but your article is certainly helping me to be a little more tender.

    • Jane says

      I'm so glad this resonated with you, Kaylamarie. Be so tender and loving with yourself. The worst thing we can ever do is beat ourselves up for being the very humans we are!

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