Emotional Wellbeing

Self Improvement


Mandy Kloppers

When we let ourselves down


disappointed photo

When  we let ourselves down

We all want a better life for ourselves and there are always things that we can improve upon. We can get ourselves into a cycle of self-loathing when we have expectations about either losing weight, attracting someone from the opposite sex, eating more healthily, finding a better job and so on. The self-loathing occurs when we are unable to attain our goals. Most of us beat ourselves up over something that we have not managed to do. So why are we so hard on ourselves?

We actively stop ourselves from feeling happier when we spend time in our thoughts, thinking about everything that we are getting wrong for not achieving to the correct standards. The question is- who put these expectations there in the first place?

While it’s okay to want to improve, it’s not okay to actively dislike yourself until that point that you do achieve your goal. What a waste of precious moments that could be happier.

Sometimes our self-loathing comes from our upbringings. If we had strict parents who expect a lot of us, we may feel that we never measured up. We end up engaging in patterns of behaviour that we used when we were children and often these patterns of behaviour are no longer valid as adults. We choose what we want to believe about ourselves. How does it help us think the worst of ourselves? Well, it doesn’t-being hard on ourselves only makes things worse.

Instead of labelling yourself “fat”; “ugly”; “worthless”; “unlovable”… it is more helpful to accept that you are human with strengths and weaknesses, just like the rest of us. When we have confidence in ourselves, others accept us at that level. They do not ask you where your certificate is in confidence or feeling good about yourself, and believe it or not others are less likely to judge you if you do not judge yourself.

Many of us received ‘false’ messages as children that we have internalised and now use to describe ourselves. Now is the time to reset this…look for the evidence. You will find many examples to refute what you think about yourself – just look for them.

Choose to believe healthier and happier thoughts about yourself. The past cannot be undone but we can update our beliefs about ourselves. The kinder we are and the less pressure we place upon ourselves to be an improved version – the more likely it is to happen naturally.

There will be less guilt and less judgement – who wouldn’t want that?

Mandy X