12 Signs You Are Being (Too) Hard On Yourself

Painful situations are a part of life – we all have them. Still, it´s your perception of these situations and the part you play in them that can make all the difference. Being hard on yourself by holding onto painful memories and feelings could be what´s keeping you from leading the happy life you want so much.

After all, negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, self-doubt and listening too closely to the put-downs from your inner critic can affect your body and mind, leading to dysfunctional relationships, depression, stress, and disease. So it’s important to not only be aware of your emotions, but the part you play in being hard on yourself to begin with.

I´m not saying you shouldn´t always try to do your best or attempt to be the best person you can be. I´m all for looking at the things that go wrong in my life and learning from my mistakes so I can do better the next time around.

What I am saying is – by having high expectations of yourself – it´s sometimes easy to become a bit too self-critical.

A high level of self-criticism is detrimental to success and good mental health

And excessive self-criticism kills confidence.

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So, let´s take a look at those 12 signs you are being hard on yourself and see which pitfalls you may have fallen into…

SIGN #1: You’re Stuck

One sign that you’re overly critical toward yourself is a lack of action. If you’ve been stuck in the same situation for an extended period of time, you’re too hard on yourself. Otherwise, you’d be out there taking care of business and making positive changes to your life.

SIGN #2: You’re Slow To Forgive

When you can’t forgive yourself, you’re unable to forgive others. When you can let go and forgive yourself, you can do the same for the other people in your life.

SIGN #3: You Discount Your Accomplishments

It doesn’t matter to you that you shaved 10 minutes off your best 10K time or graduated from medical school. You’re bothered by the fact that you didn’t win the race or attend Harvard medical school.

SIGN #4: You’re Not Assertive

You have to be comfortable with yourself to feel comfortable with asserting yourself. Assertiveness also brings the risk of rejection. Being too self-critical can increase the fear of rejection from others.

SIGN #5: Your Inner Critic Has Control

There’s little harm in a small amount of negative self-talk. But a constant barrage of self-criticism is highly damaging. Imagine telling your child that they can’t do anything right and should give up trying. It sounds crazy when viewed from that perspective.

SIGN #6: You’re A Chronic Underachiever

Underachieving is both a symptom and a cause of self-criticism. Consistent underachieving is a call to action!

SIGN #7: Others Feel Comfortable Criticizing You As Well

The average person isn’t comfortable criticizing others. However, after they’ve heard you criticize yourself repeatedly, they’re likely to feel they can join in on the criticism.

SIGN #8: You´re Generally Critical Of Yourself

You criticize yourself in general terms, rather than just for specific events. There’s a difference between telling yourself that you’re not a good tennis player and telling yourself that you’re not good at anything. General criticism is false and highly damaging.

  • A lack of success at a particular activity doesn’t make you flawed at everything. It’s illogical.

SIGN #9: You Keep Your Opinions To Yourself

While you have every reason to avoid telling your neighbor she looks fat in her dress, you should feel comfortable sharing the title of your favorite book. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your opinions freely, you’re too concerned about being judged by others or saying the wrong thing.

SIGN #10: You Dwell On Your Mistakes

Can you move on quickly after a short period of self-reflection or do you dwell on your mistakes for an extended period of time?

SIGN #11: You Struggle With Asking For Help

It shouldn’t be difficult to ask for help. In fact, the more help the better! Are you afraid of being viewed as incapable? If so, you’re too critical of yourself.

SIGN #12: You Can´t Take A Compliment

Everyone is good at something. Or maybe you know you’re good at a few things but don’t think you deserve a compliment. Either way, you’re being too hard on yourself.

DOWNLOAD your FREE "5 Steps To Mastering Self-Talk" Cheat Sheet

When you come right down to it, being overly self-critical does not help push you forwards to doing and achieving more. It´s a form of self-sabotage that limits both your success and your satisfaction in life.

Realize how much harm you do by consistently being hard on yourself.

When something doesn´t go right, learn from it. See the experience as feedback that can help you grow and thrive, and do your best to apply that lesson learned to other areas of your life with enthusiasm!

Before you go, take a moment to share with me in the comments below? I´d really love to hear which of the 12 signs you´ve recognized in your own life…and I´d like to help.

About the Author Jan Marie Mueller

Jan Marie Mueller is founder of the inspirational blog ThinkBrilliantly and The Brilliance Community, a free Facebook group dedicated to empowering women to let their inner brilliance shine! Her mission is to help women everywhere shift the way they think about themselves, their world and those around them so they have the confidence to do, be and have what they want most in life!

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Allegra Sinclair says

Jan, I love this! Sometimes we get so comfortable beating ourselves up that we don’t even realize we’re doing it anymore. The sign about others feeling comfortable beating up on you also? Wow. These are powerful sign posts and tools for recognizing when a shift might be helpful. Have a powerful week!

Ruth says

I’ve always been hard on myself. Every one of these could have applied to me over the years. Thankfully the older I get the more forgiving I am toward myself. 🙂

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