I found 5 posts in the archives when I searched for the phrase “be kind to yourself.” I’m sure there are many other posts that have variants of that message. A big part of learning is being able to take failure in your stride and move on. And, a big part of my learning journey over the past few years has been learning to be kind with myself.
Today, I thought I’d offer you, and myself, the counter point. There are a lot of advantages to being tough with yourself. For starters, it is impossible to truly reflect and evaluate yourself if you treat yourself and your actions as perfect. For me, however, the biggest benefit is that it helps me not take criticism to heart. If someone tells me that something I did sucked, it is rare that it catches me completely by surprise. There is a good chance I gave myself a bit of a hard time for doing so. And, if I did that, I’m probably working away on a solution. (Being told you sucked still hurts of course – it just hurts less).
So, if you’re the sort who is tough on yourself, fret not. Be tough – push yourself to extend yourself, learn and grow. Just don’t be so tough that it stops you from doing anything at all.
For, mis-steps are guaranteed. What matters in the final analysis is that we create space for a creative, constructive and corrective response.
(“Its tough being a kid sometimes” – this pic of the reflective kid cracked me up.)