Stop beating yourself up

Edited excerpt from What’s the secret to success? Be nicer to yourself by Keith Breene:

Stanford researcher Emma Seppälä says that when she looked at the research she found the evidence overwhelmingly showed that if you look after your well-being first, you will do better in your job.

The key, Seppälä says, is being kinder to yourself. “Research shows that self-criticism is basically self-sabotage, whereas self-compassion – treating yourself with the understanding, mindfulness and kindness with which you would treat a friend – leads to far greater resilience, productivity and well-being.”

In times of failure or challenge, noticing your self-talk can help you replace it with self-compassion. Instead of saying things like, “I’m such an idiot!” you might say, “I had a moment of absentmindedness and that’s okay.”

Notes:
(1) From my personal experience, I think there are two distinct elements to debilitating self-criticism: first, a tendency to devote too much thought and attention to negative outcomes or events; and second, what Emma Seppälä calls your “self-talk” about those items.
(2) On “a tendency to devote too much thought and attention to negative outcomes or events”, see (i) Don’t try to learn from failure and (ii) You can train yourself to think positively.
(3) On “what Emma Seppälä calls your “self-talk” about those items”, cf. How to view rejection.

2 thoughts on “Stop beating yourself up

  1. Here’s a comment I got (by email) from a reader which I thought was worth sharing:

    “I bet this impacts introverts much more acutely than extroverts. Introverts tend to spend a lot of time internally planning and considering various outcomes, including negative ones, so may be more susceptible to falling into the self-criticism trap.”

  2. Pingback: Don’t let self-criticism become self-flagellation | A Founder's Notebook

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