Have you ever wondered whether what you do helps or hinders you? Whether your habitual thoughts and feelings lead you to greater success or steer you down the path towards failure? I believe, as humans, we are driven to improve and achieve more. Moreover, I don’t believe we consciously decide to focus on failure, or failing. However, because of the way our brains work and our innate wiring, we tend to get in our own way, especially when it comes to reaching our potential. Furthermore, as we innately tend to compare ourselves to others, we are often hard on ourselves, which lowers our spirits and confidence. Our quest to seek out benchmarks, ‘something’ or ‘someone’ to measure ourselves against can lead us down the path towards failure.
When we do fall into comparison mode, it’s vital we do this through the lenses of kindness and curiosity. If we don’t, it tends to generate negative feelings that pull us down, keep us away from success and nearer the road towards failure. Additionally, it erodes self-belief, confidence and prevents us from reaching our potential. When you allow your habitual thoughts to rule, directed by your subconscious mind, you keep yourself further away from success. Let’s explore why being hard on ourselves can be disastrous to our lives.
Self-criticism reduces motivation and increases procrastination
When you are hard on yourself, you minimise your self-esteem, devalue your self-worth and erode your personal power. Furthermore, it’s the equivalent of planting toxic thoughts or ‘weeds’ into your mind. Just as large weeds grow bigger and stronger, so do your negative thoughts. Not a great recipe for success. Furthermore, a study at a Canadian University tracked how students procrastinated over a semester. They concluded that self-criticism was consistently associated with less motivation and self-control. The findings revealed that many students put off studying for the first exam. Additionally, the students who were harder on themselves for procrastinating on their first exam were more likely to procrastinate on later exams than students who forgave themselves. Thus, laying the foundation for future procrastination.self-criticism was consistently associated with less motivation and self-control. Click To Tweet
Procrastination can lead to even more procrastination and a failure to get stuff done
This poor habit of procrastination is one of the biggest killers of goals, wasters of time and joy. Moreover, it has been labelled as ‘nature’s greatest assassin’. When we are hard on ourselves, it’s easy to feel bad. When we feel bad, it’s easy to procrastinate, as we prefer comfortable feelings over feeling uncomfortable. It’s important to note that procrastinating isn’t doing nothing. It’s simply doing something that feels more instantly pleasurable or less arduous.
Next, it makes it harder to do the things you know you should do, but don’t. Furthermore, as this means you are not being productive and achieving what is important, often leads to even more unkind self-talk. At the extreme, negative self-talk leads to physical and mental health issues, anxiety or depression. Thus, breeding a cycle of negativity and failure. As an example of this, one of the most popular questions I get asked from my clients is, ‘why don’t I do the things I know I should do?’
The key to increase personal power and avoid failure is compassion or kindness
One of the best skills to embrace to avoid negative self-talk and procrastination is forgiveness and self-compassion. In other words, be kind to yourself! When we show compassion to ourselves, we reduce our stress chemicals. Compassion stimulates the production of dopamine. Moreover, dopamine is an essential ingredient for happiness, and one that we can create freely in our brain when we know how.
Ever wanted a simple and healthy way to increase dopamine? Celebrate your wins. When you celebrate your wins, hi-five yourself, your brain releases a tiny shot of dopamine. Furthermore, simple rewards work well because your brain cannot differentiate between a big or small goal. A win is a win, and a reward is a reward. Practice speaking kind words of encouragement to yourself such as “yes, go me,” “that was awesome,” or “I am getting better every day.” Kind words switch on thousands of stress reducing chemicals.
When you stop comparing you increase respect
‘When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. Lao Tzu
Other rewards may include taking a short break, having a chat with a colleague or stepping outside into nature. Work on building your inner vault of self-compassion. Use positive learnings from the experience to implement better strategies and new actions. Furthermore, do them consistently to create winning habits. Finally, check out my book, Creating Healthy Life Habits,‘ for some simple strategies to get going. Essentially, habits, whether of thought, feeling or action are the foundations of all success and the antidote to failure.When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you. Lao Tzu Click To Tweet
Ultimately your thoughts shape your results
Remember, unkind or negative thoughts fuel chemicals that create negative feelings. As thoughts and feelings influence your behaviours, please ensure you set them up for your success not failure. Negative thoughts can also negatively impact your health. This is exactly why working on observing your thoughts is such an important skill to embrace. Practice observing your thoughts with no judgment. When you catch yourself being unkind, comparing or minimising yourself, be aware. Release the thoughts and replace them with kinder ones. Do this until it becomes one of your most natural and important habits. To access a powerful tool to help release negative thoughts, and other mindset tools click on the link below for a FREE Mindset Essentials Toolkit.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting business professionals and entrepreneurs fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
OTHER FREE RESOURCES
- Join our Mindset for Success community and receive regular updates and mind tips and tools
- Access your FREE Mindset Essentials Toolkit in the Mindset for Success Subscribers Hub
- To book a call to talk to Mandy about Mindset Coaching and your outcomes, click here
- Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly videos
To contact and connect with Mandy:-