Don't be too harsh on yourself

Rohit Vadhwana Wednesday 17th January 2024 09:02 EST

'Oh, I missed the exercise today.', 'I couldn't complete all the work in the office.', or similar kinds of complaints against ourselves are often heard. We often judge ourselves harshly, and miss the real outcome. This strict self-assessment is because we categorise everything in YES and NO, positive and negative, success or failure. But there is no need to be so strict and so narrow in our assessment. Categorizing our actions strictly as 'YES' or 'NO', 'success' or 'failure', we often overlook the 'MAYBE'. This black-and-white thinking overlooks the different shades that color our daily experiences. 

Things work differently in real life. There are different shades of success, achievement, which we fail to notice. Take as an example. You miss gym in the evening. You count it as failure. But the reason is that you met a dear friend after almost a decade. Spending time with him is more important and the gym can wait a day. Each of these actions holds its unique value and shouldn't be dismissed as a failure. 

Take the example of a work project. You might not complete it by the deadline, leading to self-criticism. However, this perspective overlooks the learning and growth experienced during the project. Moreover, consider personal relationships. You might regret not spending enough time with loved ones, viewing it as a personal failing. However, the quality of the time spent can be more significant than the quantity. A single heartfelt conversation can be more meaningful than many hours of distracted interaction. 

Whatever you do has its own benefits which can be calculated for the missed out actions. Of course, everytime missing on your schedule or targets is not a positive sign, but if you are meeting most of your deadlines, and maintaining your schedule mostly, perhaps a few misses should be accepted without remorse. 

In conclusion, our harsh self-judgment often stems from a binary view of success and failure. However, real life is replete with shades of success and achievement. When we start to see our actions in this light, we can appreciate the full spectrum of our experiences. As John Steinbeck aptly put it, "And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good." This mindset allows us to grow and learn, transforming our perceived failures into steps toward personal growth and fulfillment.

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