If you’re hard on yourself, you can change this habit. Just as you learned the habit, you can also unlearn it. There are real steps you can take to dismantle the habit of being hard on yourself and begin to really thrive.
Being Hard on Yourself is a “Learned Habit”
In my last article, Self-Criticism – How it holds you back and How to let it go, I talked about the process of shifting your focus from positive to negative. Not always easy when your habit has been to focus on “What’s wrong“. If you’re having a hard time of shifting your focus off of what you think you’re doing wrong, try viewing the process from the standpoint of, “I wonder what I can learn here?” or “What am I willing to let go of that no longer serves me in my success and my happiness?” If you can adopt an attitude of curiosity, it becomes easier to explore the issues surrounding the habit of being hard on yourself.
To start moving your focus to one of support for yourself, begin by looking at what your underlying beliefs are. If your underlying thoughts don’t serve you in success or your happiness, learn to identify them and then let them go.
Make a list of any of the following you experienced:
- Negative words or phrases you heard someone say to you about how what you were doing “wasn’t enough”. Examples of this are, “Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister? You’re impossible. Your room is always a mess. When are you ever going to grow up?”
- These can also include – Comments about your appearance – clothes you wore, your weight, etc.
Another source of how we learned to be hard on ourselves can be looks we saw, or actions/responses by someone else:
- Disapproving looks
- Rolling of eyes (directed at you)
- Sighs of annoyance or disapproval
- Emotions you’ve felt in regards to how you felt as a result of any of the above
- Judgments or thoughts you made about yourself that you’re still listening to
These are just a few examples. Think back and write down any ones you heard, saw, or experienced. These messages are valuable information you have to begin unwinding the habit of not letting yourself off the hook.
When you know what the messages are, it’s easier to incorporate EFT tapping into releasing them. If you’re having trouble remembering the messages, just focus on any of the negative “self talk” that goes on in your mind. Write them down so you can check back to the list as you go along.
How to Use Your List
Below are some general phrases you can use to start the tapping process. The more specific you can be, the more effective tapping is, but this is a good place to start because it can help bring up memories or events you might have forgotten.
The nice thing about tapping is it brings to the surface any underlying emotions, beliefs, or traumas we’re ready to release. Because it’s such a safe way to examine emotions, you can move through this quickly without reliving the trauma or event in such an intense way as you originally experienced it.
EFT Tapping Examples
Collarbone: “It’s what I learned. They were hard on my so I learned by example and I’m a really good student, so I learned this lesson well.“
Under Arm: “I’m really hard on myself and I’m not letting this go.”
Why Am I Focusing on the Negative??
Top of Head: “I’m letting them go. They’re moving out, and that feels good. Thank you body for letting these emotions go.”