Why do we think it’s effective to beat up on ourselves? We do something “wrong” and then we BAM! BAM! BAM! ourselves with our personal hammer of self-abuse.
BAM! I should’ve done…
BAM! I’m so dumb…
BAM! I should be better than this!
BAM! Why do I always do this?
Think of the worst boss you ever had. Maybe they yelled at you, treated you unfairly or simply threw you under the bus at any available opportunity. Think about how you felt when this boss acted out—did it make you want to be a better worker? Did his/her behavior motivate you to exceed expectations? I doubt it. When you beat yourself up, you are being this awful boss to yourself. This is not an effective way of managing people and it’s not an effective way of managing yourself. Beating yourself up just makes you feel bad, it doesn’t motivate you to do better. On the contrary, you’ll probably feel the need to rebel from your inner dictator.
Now, think of the most awesome boss you’ve ever had. For me, this person inspired and motivated me while treating me like a capable adult and holding me accountable in a straightforward way. I was a happy and highly motivated employee working for her. I went to new levels in my career under her supportive mentorship.
Be the awesome boss of yourself. Put the hammer of those deadly phrases you say to yourself down. Treat yourself with compassion and ask yourself, “How would my awesome boss handle this?” You’ll find your mind performs way better for your compassionate boss than it does for your inner dictator.
Try firing your inner dictator, step away from the hammer, and see what happens.