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Being Hard on Yourself

“Why are you so hard on yourself?”

That was what my client’s manager asked my client, and that’s how she ended up on the couch – to address the incredibly harsh critic she has been on herself. I smiled and half-joked, “Tell me about your mother.” Sitting across me was what most would call a successful lawyer.

It was a half-joke because our primary caregivers are one of our first few exposures to setting a defined standard of our self-worth. If we are conditioned to having to perform or achieve a certain standard to receive validation, acknowledgment, and love. Each interaction becomes a call for –

Please see me.

What do you see when you see yourself?

“If I don’t set expectations for myself, I will become too complacent with myself.”

Setting expectations for ourselves is often not the issue, but they can become incapacitated if we make them too extreme. Can we be overly motivated and excited for work or school? Is it possible we can be too responsible and too good at what we do? Could it be we are too careful when doing our work? Yes.

If we are too driven to start a project, we might miss certain blind spots and important details. Equally, if we are too careful, we risk inaction and a lack of curiosity to try out potential growth opportunities.

The key is finding a balance in how we respond or approach ourselves and others, and that balance could shift and change throughout our lifetime. Here is an article about going with the flow.



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