Stop Being So Hard On Yourself
February 28, 2022
Jade Kerr

Adulting is hard. They don’t really warn you about it. When you’re younger you see all the grownups with their freedom and independence, and it just looks so enticing. What you don’t see, is that with all this independence comes a whole bunch of responsibilities. Suddenly there are all these bills to pay, and rent to meet. Skipping work isn’t the same as cutting class, because you need to make money.

On top of all of this, relationships become more complicated. The more you explore the big wide world, the more you discover. You develop as a person, and so do your beliefs and ideologies. Things that never used to matter to you, become important. On top of work pressures and deadlines, your personal life also has its ups and downs. In a nutshell, life is hard, so why make it harder than it needs to be? Most of you have probably heard someone say to you “don’t be so hard on yourself” or “go easy on yourself”, but have you ever thought about what that really means? Imagine yourself trying to meditate in a yoga class. The meditation section usually consists of ten minutes of sitting. At any point throughout these ten minutes, you can choose to lie on your back for the remaining time.

Getty Images/Moment/Francesco Carta fotografo

At face value, ‘being hard on yourself’ means sticking out the ten minutes, even if you’re uncomfortable, and ‘going easy’ would mean switching to lie comfortably. But in reality, the choice you make isn’t the crucial factor, but rather, it’s how you treat yourself afterward. Once you’ve made your decision, you can either spend the remaining time thinking “if only I’d stayed sitting a bit longer, why did I lie down?” or “why didn’t I choose to lie down, I’m really struggling sitting”. These thoughts are you ‘being hard’ on yourself. ‘Going easy’ on yourself is accepting the decision you’ve made, no matter whether it was the ‘hard way’ or the ‘easy way’, and being kind to yourself for it. Once you’ve made your decision, you accept that you chose to lie down, because you felt that that’s what your body needed. Or maybe you accept that you decided to stay sitting and be proud of your achievement. Making decisions is one thing, but no matter what you choose, go easy on yourself afterward, because the decision has already been made.

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