Every person reading this post will have been too hard on themselves at some point in their life. Whether it’s daily, weekly or rarely, it will happen because it’s human nature. Something that’s human nature isn’t possible to eradicate. If eradicated, we’re no longer human. So although being hard on ourselves SUCKS, it’s important to remember that it can be a normal response.

how to stop being so hard on yourself

However, there is a limit on how much is “normal”. And for those that have suffered with low self esteem or low self worth, those feelings can absolutely consume your life to the point where you feel like a failure or a bad person every day of your life.

And nobody deserves that. 

So whilst it’s normal to be hard on yourself occasionally, perhaps after an exam you revised tirelessly for but ended up failing or when a relationship you tried hard to maintain breaks down, we do need to nip those feelings in the bud before they get too much.

In this post, I’m going to be sharing 6 basic but effective things that you can do when you’re being too hard on yourself. But it’s important to remember that these things aren’t a permanent fix.

When it comes down to it, things like self worth, self love and ultimately how we speak to ourselves when we fail, are things that need to be worked on continuously. You don’t just reach a level of self worth, tick the box and be done with it.

As humans, we are ever changing and constantly evolving. Hell, even the very structure of our hair changes every 7 years without us even realizing! So those inner things need constant work, too.

Here are 6 basic but SUPER effective things you can do, say and remind yourself of next time you’re being far too hard on yourself:

how to stop being so hard on yourself

Remind yourself that you tried your best

If you tried your best and something didn’t work out – an exam, a project, artwork, a relationship, a job – then it really does suck. We’ve all been there and it’s rubbish. This is the perfect time for us to start with the “I’m not good enough” narrative and being really hard on ourselves. It’s a tough habit to crack.

But you know what, not everything is going to work out and sometimes it’s for a good reason. Sometimes it’s for a bad reason. Sometimes, there is no reason. But if you know deep down in your soul (and you WILL know) that you tried your best, you can rest easy at night.

And if you didn’t try your best, understand why

Sometimes we don’t try our best at things. I know none of us want to admit that but it’s true. If you’re finding yourself in this boat, you need to figure some things out. WHY weren’t you trying your best?

  • Did you not actually WANT the thing you were trying for?
  • Was something else on your mind?
  • Were you struggling with your mental health?
  • Were you distracted?

There’s always a reason. And you know what, sometimes, that reasons IS that you just simply couldn’t be bothered. And that’s PERFECTLY OKAY too. Of course it’s something that needs to be addressed if it’s ongoing but heck, sometimes, we just can’t be arsed. And you really need to accept that and move on from being so hard on yourself because of it.

Sometimes, the reason we don’t try our best at something is simply because we can’t be bothered.

Change the way you speak to yourself

This point is EVERYTHING when it comes down to you being hard on yourself. It’s the way you think about yourself. The way you talk to yourself. And the way you process the things you’ve done. If there’s nobody else being hard on you then the issue is you and you alone. So changing the way you speak to YOURSELF can be a game changer.

Although it’s not going to eliminate you being hard on yourself full-stop, it can stop those negative self remarks in their tracks. Here are some alternative things you can say when you find yourself being too hard on yourself:

  • “I tried my best and that is enough”.
  • “I didn’t try my best today but that’s okay because my mind and body need a rest”.
  • “I did the best I could with the time and information I was given”.
  • “Even though it didn’t work, I’m proud of myself for trying”.

Practice self care in abundance

Being hard on yourself can make you feel really shit. Like reaaaally shit. So this is where you need to be practicing self care in complete abundance. Indulge in all the things that make you feel good, warm, comfortable and relaxed and know that you deserve every last one of them.

Here are some of my previous self care related posts that you might find helpful:

Work on your relationship with yourself

You’re can be too hard on yourself for a range of reasons; reasons that I can’t identify in one blog post for everyone reading it. Our reasons will be different. For me, it’s a lack of self worth and self understanding I’ve worked on a lot over the past two years, with the help of life coaching.

Our relationships with ourselves are hard ones – they always will be. We’re always changing and there’s always something new to learn. But the reason why you’re hard on yourself might by lying deeper than you think.

Know that you will never be perfect (but neither will anyone else!)

And a good one to end on is the constant reminder that you will never be perfect but neither will ANYONE else (despite what some people think of themselves). Although initially this might seem like a negative thing to remind yourself of daily, it really isn’t.

Perfection isn’t human. You are not a robot. You are not a machine. You’re a living, breathing, beautiful being that will make mistakes and trip over their own feet and that’s wonderful because then you always have something to learn and work towards.

stop being so hard on yourself

Now tell me, when was the last time you were too hard on yourself? Which of these tips could you have used then? Do you have anything to add? Let me know!

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33 Comments

  1. Oh my god this hit home so much! I am so glad I was browsing your blog and came across this one just now. I beat myself up so much and am way too hard on myself when I don’t seem to be getting anywhere with my writing, blog etc. But then I remember that sometimes there are other things causing me to be behind or unorganised like mental health etc. I’ll get there in the end and your pointers in this post are super helpful so thank you x

  2. Great advice! I know I am too hard on myself, especially if I’m not feeling well or I’m too tired to finish something I set out to do. I also definitely struggle with perfectionism! Next time I will try these tips you’ve shared here…thanks for sharing!

  3. School is making it really hard not to be hard on myself though 😭😭 however I’ve taken the initiative to go out and get ice cream every now and then to give my brain a break. Good tips!!

  4. I am way too hard on myself and way too often and sometimes it gets in the way of life. It really stops me from enjoying things. I really needed to read this post today. From now on I’ll be kinder to myself.

    Lauren //www.cko-coolkidsonly.blogspot.com

  5. This is such an important topic Jenny, and you’ve done a great job discussing it. We are too hard on ourselves, and those with anxiety really suffer from that mindset. This article will really help others.

  6. Such a must needed post. I’m always being too hard on myself and constantly have to remind myself that I can’t be superwoman. Not all the time at least. Excellent advice Jenny!

  7. This post was exactly what I needed to read. I recently applied for something that I was very passionate about and didn’t get it – definitely need to work on some affirmations x

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. I think at some point in all our lives we’re guilty of being to hard on ourselves – I know I certainly am. I really loved giving this a read! Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

  9. I have sent you a private message in regards to this post, but need to thank you on here too. There is something about being so hard on ourselves I just cannot begin to fathom how to tone it down, and this post might just have given me the right start to try that. So thank you thank you thank you Jenny. X

  10. These are some really great suggestions to help you stop being so hard on yourself. I am really guilty of that, more so now I have fibromyalgia and I can’t do as much as I used to in a day or a certain activity for example. These will be some helpful tips and things to remember. Thank you for sharing Jenny.

    Lauren – http://www.bournemouthgirl.com

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