It may seem standard for us to be hard on ourselves and expect perfection but after one experience, Maya Hardin shares a story about how she learned balance.
Are you easy on yourself? Do you let yourself off the hook before even trying that hard? Or, instead, are you hard on yourself?
I definitely was. I thought that if I expected something bad to happen, if I was hard on myself, then I wouldn’t get disappointed if something bad does happen. And if that bad thing doesn’t happen, then I would be pleasantly surprised and happy that something good happened. This worked, for a while. Until one time. I was waiting for the next morning when I would take the dreaded math test that no one was looking forward to. As always, I was super hard on myself and somehow, for some reason, I expected the worst. And, low and behold, the worst happened. I didn’t pass.
The night before, I kept myself up; the answers to various math equations circling around my head. ‘The square root of 64 is 8… the decimal form of ⅖ is 0.4…’ “You know this stuff,” I said to myself. “You can get it right. You have to.” In this instance, instead of thinking positively, like I should have, I was thinking negatively about the math test coming up in the day ahead. That's how I thought for a long time. Being hard on myself may have been a good thing at times, like if I push myself to be the best I could be, then I will end up being successful.
However, when being hard on yourself means you start belittling yourself and anticipating the worst, then it becomes a problem. Being hard on yourself is not always the way to go. Although, being easy on yourself isn’t exactly great either. Both can have positive and negative effects on your life.