Many people struggle with self-love because they mistakenly believe self-criticism can help them perform better. This, however, is untrue. Research has found that self-criticism can have negative effects on your well-being, productivity, and performance.
How self-criticism can affect you
- Self-criticism makes you acutely aware of the things that you lack, thus, decreasing your confidence.
- It can make you afraid of failing, which could, in turn, cause you to give up easily.
- If you continue criticizing yourself, it’s unlikely that you will ever learn from your mistakes.
If you constantly criticize yourself, developing some self-compassion could help you. What this essentially means is that you treat yourself the way you would treat a dear friend or family member in times of pain or failure – with kindness and understanding. This means being aware and mindful of your thoughts and emotions, without over-identifying with them.
Keep in mind that self-compassion does not mean you need to be overly indulgent. It only requires you to stop beating yourself up for every mistake you make.
How self-compassion can help you
- It increases your willpower and motivation.
- It helps you gain a better perspective, and thus, improves your decision-making. It also makes you a lot more resilient, so you can bounce back and learn from your past mistakes.
- It improves your emotional intelligence, and, thus, betters your relationships.
- It keeps you from feeling overly stressed and overwhelmed when the slightest of things go wrong.
- It reduces anxiety and boosts your emotional and psychological well-being.
- Over time, practicing self-compassion could even improve your overall health.
How to bring self-love into your life
The first thing you need to do is to be aware of negative self-talk. When you find self-criticizing your past actions, replace this with self-compassion.
When your emotions are getting too overwhelming, write yourself a note or letter the way you would to a friend going through a similar situation. While it may seem strange to do this at first, it’s actually a good way to regulate your emotions.
Applying self-love and self-compassion to your life can take a bit of effort, but once you start doing it, the payback will be well worth it.