Stop Beating Yourself Up – Create a Plan!

By K. Stone

November 7, 2007   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man


We all do it and we know we shouldn’t. We all have certain things that we regularly beat ourselves up over such as dieting, exercise, and meeting other goals. But have you ever realized just how much it slows you down, how unproductive it is?

We beat ourselves up with the belief that it will make us change our ways. That is a dead-wrong strategy. All that does is waste our time. You may think, “Well, I’m not someone who wastes time on that.” And that’s what I would have said only a week ago. That was until I read something that shook up my thinking.

Last week I read an article by Steve Pavlina about how to become an early riser. In the article he mentions how most people who try to become an early riser and fail because instead of conditioning the behavior they want, they don’t plan well for success and eventually beat themselves up when they fall short of their goal.

And then he said something that really interrupted my own patterns. He said, “How lame is that? Do you really want to keep running that dumb pattern for the rest of your life?” That’s when I thought, “Hey, yeah, he’s right!” And I started thinking about all the times I beat myself up over things I’m not accomplishing. I realized that all that time spent thinking was stealing time away from my productivity.

Since reading that article, I have started to change how I handle missing the mark on my goals. I look for solutions instead of beating myself up. I’m now aware of that voice in my head saying all those negative things. Now what I do is literally turn it off and ask myself what the solution is instead.

How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

Here’s how you can do the same. If you try this I guarantee that you will notice a significant reduction in stress and increase in productivity!

1. Examine your thinking. On what goals do you constantly run into walls and then run a pattern of beating yourself up?

2. Find Solutions for those roadblocks. This is how you break the pattern of beating yourself up. The solution may be to come up with a better process or routine to help you succeed. Spend a little time fail-proofing your plan. Another solution may be to analyze your goals and ensure that they are realistic. If you plan out 100% of your day with no transition or buffer time built in, you’re going to fall short on something every day. It’s inevitable. So make sure that your goals are realistic. Otherwise you’ll keep feeling defeated.

3. Turn Off the Negative Voice. Every time you hear that internal voice putting yourself down, recognize it, and then say “No!” to it. Then go back to step two and find a solution instead.

4. When All Else Fails. Get some rest and start anew tomorrow. Sometimes our body is simply too tired to muster up the energy to be positive and create solutions. Give yourself a break and start over tomorrow.

Please share if this article made a difference for you. What’s the pattern you want to break? We’d love to hear from you!

Written for Dumb Little Man by K. Stone, author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. Popular articles are NaNoWriMo Success: How to Write a Novel in 30 Days and How to Be a Great Salesperson.

K. Stone

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