Self Criticism

If you’re like a lot of my clients, you set big goals for yourself and you’re constantly switching your mind between the overall picture and the detail. 

Your To-Do list is probably as long as a freight train, and your mind is always on the next big thing. You want everything done yesterday so you can move on to the next - and you want it all done perfectly.

If this is you, then this way of thinking has probably helped you achieve the success you have today, but it can have its drawbacks; you can become unfocused, frustrated and anxious when you feel you don’t have enough hours in your days to do everything you want to do, despite achieving more in one day than most mere mortals can do in a week.

It takes all the joy out of what you do, and can make you a pain in the arse to live with. 

You could even end up with big personal problems caused by the pressure you put yourself under.

So, if you have a habit of being hard on yourself, how do you remedy this?

The trick to feeling more successful and fulfilled is simple:

• Take time to review everything you have achieved; don’t just focus on what you still have to do. When the to-do list is never ending, it’s tempting to ignore the jobs you’ve done and concentrate on what’s ahead, but this can be very damaging to your self-esteem. Your Inner Critic loves to see the negative in any situation, and focusing on the positive - even just briefly - helps keep them in their place.

• Give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself for doing a good job, especially the boring shit you have to do like getting your bookkeeping done on time, or keeping your Health and Safety manual up to date. Such thankless tasks take effort to organize whether you’re doing them yourself or delegating to others. Give yourself recognition for all the little things you make happen, not just pulling off the big projects.

• Notice all the good things you already have in your life; your family and friends, your health, your free time, your home and possessions… Focus on feeling truly grateful for all that you have. The trick to instant happiness is to notice all the amazing things you have right here, right now. It’ll help you remember how far you’ve come, and how lucky you are.

Becoming more self-aware and identifying your barriers to performance is an essential part of personal development. Some people think coaching is a load of airy-fairy nonsense, but if that were true then the most successful companies on the planet wouldn’t be pouring millions of pounds into coaching for their teams.

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