Do You Beat Yourself Up Over Your Mistakes and Shortcomings? 3 ‘A’s to Your Recovery.

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Every morning, I map out my priorities, activities and commitments for the day. As the day progresses, I get things done and create amazing experiences with people and with my work; always in the flow, energetic, and on top of the game. At the end of the day, I look with satisfaction at my wonderful performance and happily goes to bed on time, ready for another perfect day.

Except… that’s not how it really is.

I get distracted and spend time on Facebook or surfing websites, when I should be getting that long-overdue task done instead.

I make unwise choices in my interactions with people and end up ruffling their feathers and emotions.

I fall victim to the planning fallacy, underestimating the time it takes to complete things, and go to bed with more things left undone than I would have liked.

As if that’s not bad enough, to compound the impact, I would beat myself up internally for these mistakes and shortcomings. And then I get upset with myself for being upset with myself.

Stop-Beating-Yourself-Up

Sigh.

Do you do that? It is a vicious cycle which feels both stupid and horrible, doesn’t it?

Every person who beats himself up knows intellectually that he should not do so, and he can easily offer compassion and advice to someone else who is doing the same.

The funny thing is, we seem to find it a lot more difficult to do it for ourselves.

It is especially common among people who are ambitious and have big dreams. They demand a lot out of themselves, go on steep learning curves, and want to make many changes simultaneously.

Because they are on such a journey, they fail more. They fall more. They make more mistakes. They have a wider gap between their desired self and the current reality.

What is the cost of beating yourself up?

You become frustrated and stressed more often, both towards yourself and towards others.

You have less compassion and tolerance for the people around you, because how you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself.

Though you get things done, you did not enjoy the process of doing so.

You block your creativity, your intuition, and your connection with your truths and unique gifts.

Connecting with your calling is an act of trusting, listening and creating space. How can that happen when there is this ongoing chatter in your head which is putting you down and making you feel wrong?

How can you create inner peace by going to war with yourself?

 

There are a few common reasons why we develop this tendency, and I shall not go into the psychological aspects of that for the focus of this article.

Many years ago, my spiritual teacher saw this tendency in me and pointed out that she is going to ‘take the whip out of my hands’.

Today, I want to help you to put down that whip too, and to start treating yourself the way you deserve; the way a magnificent and beautiful person like you deserves.

I suggest that you start practising the 3 ‘A’s.

Accept / Acknowledge

Be ok with where you are right here and now.

It is ok that you have made mistakes; it is ok that you have not done enough; it is ok that you have not been the best person.

I am not saying that you should continue as you are and live with it. What I am asking is for you to learn to hold polarities – have a desired change you want to see in the future, and also to be able to accept where you are right here in the present.

When has stressing out about a mistake made you feel better about yourself and more motivated to change?

What would give you more confidence and power instead, as you work on becoming a better you?

Begin from this space of self-acceptance and self-love, and your efforts for change will come with more grace and ease.

Act

It is not going to help if you just tell yourself how much you love and accept yourself, without taking steps to change that which is not in alignment with your values and ambitions.

Because if you do so, you will be feeling hypocritical and you will not believe in all the good things that you are saying about yourself.

Therefore, you need to re-commit and to start taking baby steps towards the changes you want to see.

Each time you fall off track, get up, don’t beat yourself up for it, re-commit, change your strategy if you need to, and go again. Do better. Keep going.

“Start again”… the deep voice of Vipassana meditation teacher Goenka echoes in my head each time I fall.

Appreciate

Finally, recognize and appreciate both your successes and your progress!

Whether you have succeeded in what you set out to achieve, or you have made very small improvements… celebrate!

When you do so, you anchor in your wins and this gives you renewed confidence, hope and motivation to make the next leap, and the next, and the next.

Step by step, perhaps without you noticing it, you will find that you beat yourself up less, and you have more peace and joy within. Your ambitions are still as strong, and you are now in a better position to take them on.

Didn’t I promise that by practising the 3 ‘A’s, your efforts for change will come with more grace and ease?

what-you-focus-on-expands

Whether you focus on how stupid you are, or how brilliant and lovable you can be, you will find more evidence to support it. Not only that, you will evolve and live into it.

So what do you choose?

If at this point in your life you find it hard to give yourself the gift of forgiveness and compassion, then do it not just for yourself, but for your dreams and for the people you love.

In how we treat ourselves, we are teaching our kids the same. They are masters at observing and modeling, and I don’t want my children to grow up beating themselves, oscillating between the chains of guilt and anger.

Instead, I want them to learn to take good care of themselves, just as I am now learning the importance of self-care.

I have noticed that when I am taken care of, I treat myself and the people around me with a lot more love and respect.

Self-care – that’s how you can become better and bigger! I love this tip from business coach and shamanic healer Meghan Gilroy:

Whenever I (raise) up the level of the people I serve, I (raise) up my level of self-care.

Practise your 3 ‘A’s and your self-care, and you are well on the road towards more success, peace and joy!


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