Cut Yourself Some Slack
This is an article I’m writing for myself. Well, I guess everything I write is pretty much for me (I am a staunch narcissist, don’t forget!), but this one especially so.
I’ve been extremely hard on myself since I was a kid. If I missed a shot in soccer, even as a second grader, it would be tough to let it go.
My growth mindset and ability to extrapolate my potential is both a blessing and a curse. It pushes me to think big and gives me a belief that I’m meant to do something extraordinary with my life. It also makes me tough as hell on myself when I’m not getting the results I want.
On the whole, I think this is a good trait. We all need to hear honesty and the best person it can come from is ourselves. No voice holds more weight than our own.
And, for the most part, it has served me well. I’ve accomplished a lot of what I set out to accomplish and have been fortunate enough to build some life momentum at a relatively young age. I am proud of where I’m at and who I have become.
But, at times, I beat myself the fuck up. And every once in awhile, I’ll take it a little too far and beat the dead horse.
Do I need to give myself critical feedback, even if it’s uncomfortable? Yes.
Do I need to do so until I’m blue in the face and feel like a dejected piece of trash? Unequivocally no.
My problem is that I don’t know the balance. What level of intensity is enough to push me to change, yet not too much to make me loose my head?
How long should I ruminate in my mistakes to ensure I don’t replicate them time and time again? What is the minimum effect dose of negative self talk?
Because, I don’t care what the self-help gurus say, negative self-talk is a positive tool, in moderation. You shouldn’t always be going around thinking you’re the shit. You’re not.
We make mistakes. We shouldn’t feel confident all of the time; it means you’re not learning. And if you’re not learning, you’re not growing. And if you’re not growing…
This rambling is a reminder that it’s OK to mess up. If you’re setting big goals, you’re going to have heartbreak. You’re going to feel alone. You’re going to get your hopes up, even if you’re minimizing expectations, and have them shattered.
It’s part of the process. Don’t dwell on the failures any longer than you need to. There’s no utility in beating yourself up to the point of self destruction.
You wouldn’t go into the gym and lift weights until you broke your fucking legs, would you? No, you’d break down the muscles enough to be sore the next day, so that you can rebuild them and get stronger.
I apply this analogy across the board. If you’re not sore and a little broken down, you’re not getting better. But, be careful because broken bones (and egos) take longer to mend and will inevitably be weaker in the long term.
So, cut yourself some slack. Success takes patience and perseverance through the shit storm of self-doubt, failure, and insult. People will try and hold you back. Others will rip you off. Promises will be broken.
Expect it. Accept it. You have to loose to learn how to win, or something like that. And, even if you fail, at least it will be on your terms.