And when I hear “I feel like I’m holding myself back” I often know what the issue is.

Self criticism.

Yes, I know that you have this feeling that if you could just be more disciplined, tougher with yourself etc that everything would change.

Well trust me when I say that you’re making it much harder to get where you want to go by opting for the ‘tough with myself’ route. And you’ll still be thinking “I feel like I’m holding myself back” in 10 years if you don’t stop with the self-criticism now.

Getting tough with yourself..

What this does: hypes up anxiety, triggers your inner child, narrows your perspective on what’s possible. Also makes it impossible to let go of mistakes. It creates shame around failures or being imperfect, keeps you stuck, stops you being yourself.

What this doesn’t do: help you grow and improve and ensure you learn from your mistakes. It won’t allow you to see a situation clearly, give you headspace to see solutions, make you an enjoyable person to be around.

It just doesn’t work

It’s not just me who thinks this either – here are some evidence-based perspectives:

  • A study published in Self and Identity found the increased stress that results from self-criticism actually increases procrastination. 
  • A study published in  the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that treating yourself with self-compassion — seeing weaknesses, failures, and mistakes as a natural part of life — will better motivate you to overcome those weaknesses and improve your performance.

90% of our thoughts are repeated

That’s the only reason why you’re stuck in self-criticism as a go to tool for motivation etc – it’s just a habit. We don’t criticise ourselves because it actually works. It’s just a habit. And it’s the foundation of “I feel like this is holding me back.”

And now that you know that it doesn’t work, when are you going to start focusing on what DOES? If now feels like the right time, I can help – book a free 10 min intro call and let’s chat.

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