I’ve come to the conclusion that beating yourself up, being down on yourself, hating yourself and all that smack isn’t quite what it seems.

It’s not this hopeless condition from being treated badly when you were a child.

Nope. It’s being lazy. It’s procrastinating[1]. It’s spending time on something that is so non-productive, nay, damaging that it hardly bears thinking about.

And yes, I know that there are going to be people who read that and think, “Oh great, another reason why I suck. Gee, thanks.”

But think about it the time and energy you might be putting into it. Isn’t there something else you’d rather be doing? I’m not saying that you have to be super-productive here, but hell, going outside and drawing with chalk on the sidewalk would be a far, far better use of your time.

What if, every time you felt down on yourself, you thought, “Yep, thinking that again. I’d rather do something else. I’m gonna go finger paint[2].”

Notice that you acknowledge the thought without harsh judgment. Don’t look for yet another excuse to beat yourself up. The point is to STOPPIT. You look at it with dispassionate eyes and coolly choose to do something, anything[3] else.

It doesn’t have to fix whatever you’re down on yourself about. I mean, sure, if that’s what you want to do and it’s even something that’s fixable, cool. But chances are good that the habit of being negative to yourself is actually the more damaging issue.


[1] Think about it, how often do you feel down on yourself that you don’t feel like there’s something you “should” be doing, but aren’t. (Dieting, cleaning the house, earning more money, managing the money you have better, being more social…).

[2] Or read a book, or look up absurd trivia on Wikipedia, or whatever. Washing dishes is better than feeling down on yourself, you know? Okay, marginally. <grin> At least you get clean dishes out of it.

[3] Okay, don’t go around hurting people. If you deliberately choose to hurt people rather than being down on yourself you really do suck.

mental health

One thought on “Being Down on Yourself

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more about this one. You are right-on. I think that we are all guilty of laziness from time to time when we think we are just getting down on ourselves. Sometimes you hear someone say something like “I don’t know how to do it right anyway so why bother?” or “you don’t even like my cooking why should I make dinner tonight?”

    How about this one “I suck at life” usually it is from someone who is just too lazy to get off their ass and get a job, or make any effort to change their own life for the better.

    I will keep what you wrote here in mind today and see if I find anyone at work being down on themselves or “hating themselves” I think I will have a laugh.

    thanks
    -gregg

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