Being self critical definitely makes you your own worst enemy. Finding fault with ourselves and self loathing defies all logic. We are given the raw materials to work with when we are born and although we can improve ourselves to a point, there is no escaping our biology. Despite this fact, we all seem to make a habit of rejecting ourselves and comparing ourselves unfavourably to others. What a complete waste of time!
Think about it…why wouldn’t you want to get as comfortable with yourself as possible? We’re stuck with the body we are born into so it makes sense to spend effort on liking ourselves and working with what we’ve been given. I especially loathed myself in my teens and early twenties. I was extremely self conscious and hate just about everything about myself – the way I looked, the way I behaved…there was very little self love and acceptance going on back then.
It has taken me many years to begin to feel comfortable in my own skin and I know I am not alone in this. I find it a sad state of affairs though and if I could go back and give my younger self a wise message, it would be to appreciate my youth more and focus on my strengths instead of always looking at my perceived weaknesses. We seem to only appreciate things once we no longer have them. I regularly see pictures of my younger self and can see now that I looked pretty good yet at the time, I can remember feeling inadequate, fat and ugly.
Do yourself a favour and make friends with yourself. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Learn to love all that is unique about you, no matter how weird or different. Celebrate who you are and maximise what you have with appreciation rather than self criticism. You will be amazed at how much happier and at peace you will begin to feel.
Self pity is a normal human reaction to negative events and disappointment in life. In fact, I think it is unhealthy not to allow ourselves a little self pity and sympathy at times. Putting a time limit on self pity is essential though so as not to allow it to overwhelm us and possibly push us into a deeper state of sadness.
There are ways to use self pity to our advantage:
Use self pity to help you grow and to teach you
Self pity is a sign of non-alignment. Of being off track where something isn’t quite working. Use the emotional experience to learn and improve self awareness. Inner peace is within your reach when you choose to harness the experience and learn from it rather than letting it topple you.
Attitude, not circumstance is a better predictor of a fortuitous outcome…watch your interpretation of the world around you. You have the power to choose it and/or adapt your perceptions.
Learn to let go and chill out
Self pity sometimes comes from placing too much pressure on ourselves. Instead of relaxing into it, we resist and create chaos internally by imagining all sorts of problems that may never happen. Learning to be more accepting of “what is” and not sweating the small stuff can lead to less self pity and a happier existence.
Choose positive thoughts about yourself
Instead of self pity, remind yourself of why you don’t need to heap self pity upon yourself. Remind yourself of all your strengths and of how far you have come in life. Never compare your journey to that of others – we all have different learning objectives in life. Self pity comes from feeling hard done by – self pity alerts you to the fact that you are thinking “poor me”. As I said before, self pity is fine but it is also useful in that it reminds you to get ‘aligned’ and adapt your thinking to get you back on track. When you choose the right thoughts you will find less reason to feel self pity and hopefully self pride will take its place.
Just as there are negative things in life, thank goodness for the fact that there is an abundance of good stuff too. Make a point of looking for it. The more we ‘prime’ ourselves to look for positives and focus on good will around us, the more likely we will be to feel happier. Thoughts lead to feelings which lead to our focus/behaviour, so watch your thoughts and the rest should follow.
Self pity is fine as long as there’s a time limit. Its serves a purpose especially if we use it as ‘fuel’ to push us further and see it as a sign that we might be going ‘off track’.