Don’t let self-criticism suffocate your success
lady with lots of food in front of her

For so many of us we are our own harshest judge. We can be super critical of minor blemishes in ourselves that we would never worry about in other people. This trait can have a cruel effect on our self-worth and confidence, and can also resonate into our diet.

So often the first thing a client will tell me when they walk through my door is all the mistakes they have made in the preceding week or two since we last caught up. With ease they can recall every minor blemish, having re-lived each moment over and over again in their head. When I ask someone to tell me about the good things they have done, or the healthy decisions they have made, I often see a blank face staring back at me. It’s almost as if one or two slip-ups has completely erased all of the good decisions they have made. “How can I congratulate myself for doing good, when I have stuffed everything up by eating this and that?”.

This kind of thinking happens far too often, and affects more people than you think. It’s the kind of thinking that prevents people moving on from mistakes in a positive way, and stops people making real progress. So often our default setting is self-criticism. We so easily pick up on faults and weaknesses, and fail to see our strengths even when others can see them so clearly in us. Every time we make a mistake it serves as yet another reminder of our weakness and inability to do something properly. “I have failed yet again so why do I bother?”.

If you can relate with this thinking then it’s time to change, otherwise failure will keep happening. It’s time to think like a successful person. Instead of dwelling on mistakes, dwell on areas where progress has been made. Accept the fact that you are human, and like every other human you are going to make mistakes. I have never worked with someone who has successfully transformed their lifestyle, yet who hasn’t made many mistakes along the way.

Each mistake comes with a decision. We either choose to dwell on that mistake, punish ourselves, and put ourselves down. Or we learn from it and move on in a positive way, accepting that mistakes are part of being human. If you make the latter decision more often you will find yourself thinking in a far more positive way, and find that success comes easier than ever before.

– David Finnin