Less than one week into my first job, I walked into a meeting a few minutes early. My manager, who was in the conference room speaking with someone, held her hand up at me and said scathingly, “Do not come in here.” After scurrying away, I spent the rest of the day hiding from her, and I went home that night feeling really ashamed.
I did nothing wrong, and yet I was being extremely self-critical. And though I’ve learned not to let other people’s irrational reactions bother me as much anymore, there are still times I reprimand myself for things that really don’t matter. And I bet that you do this, too.
But the truth is, even for mistakes that do matter, there’s no sense in berating ourselves incessantly. In fact, doing this can actually lead to underperformance and, ultimately, feelings of depression.
If you’re really hard on yourself, even every so often, watch this video to find out why you should exercise self-compassion instead, and how you can do so.
Abby works in health education and prevention at a university in Washington, DC. When she’s not trying to make the world a healthier place, you can find her taking selfies with her cat (Mildred Meow Meow), hunting down the city's best grilled cheese, or zipping through the city on her bike, named Libby. Say hi on Twitter.More from this Author