March 6, 2017In LifestyleBy Sean Lerwill5 Minutes

I bet you give yourself a hard time. Whether it’s work, personal life, fitness or even a course you’ve enrolled on, you’re probably your own biggest critic. The problem is that if you never give yourself a break, you just feel worse and will often end up giving up.

Be your own mentor

If you had someone at work you were asked to mentor would you slam them every time they didn’t get something right? You wouldn’t would you? Think about a good coach or trainer. If they have a client who is struggling with something, do they chastise them when they are learning something and getting it wrong? Of course not. They have to keep the person’s confidence up so part of their job is to instil confidence as the person is learning, to help them learn in a positive manner.

Think about your job and how you would be with someone new or someone in your team who is struggling. Will you get the best from them by giving them a hard time or from teaching and encouraging them? It’s obvious isn’t it. If you constantly tell someone they are sh!t, soon enough they believe it and give up. They can’t see the point. The question then, is why do we do it to ourselves?

Give yourself a break

From what we’ve read above, we know that the best way to encourage someone when they are struggling with something is to have patience and empathy. To give them the confidence to succeed rather than put them down. To help them work out why they are strugling and come up with a plan to improve and persevere. How many of you have that patience and empathy with yourself? Very few I’d imagine.

Great things don’t happen overnight. No-one loses 10kg or has the ability to run a marathon under 4hours on the first go (very few people anyway, and they’ll no doubt struggle at something else!). Next time you find yourself getting frustrated with yourself for missing a session, failing to complete a training run in under a certain time or for having a chocolate biscuit at work, remember how you would be if you were helping someone else.

Self Mentor

Sean Lerwill doing pushupsThe likelihood is, that if you were helping someone else, you’d sit down and work out why they struggled/made a mistake. What is it that’s the driving force behind it. That’s far more beneficial that chastising and just pointing out failure. You’d then agree a strategy with them for next time a situation like this arises to help them avoid the same outcome. You’d be a good teacher/coach/mentor. That’s exactly what you need to learn to do for yourself.

Don’t sulk and feel sorry for yourself because internally you are giving yourself a hard time to punish yourself and self indulge in feeling bad. The past is the past and it can’t be undone. In one sense it doesn’t exist, the past is a human concept. Be more animalistic and except that the past is gone. Learn from it by all means. Animals do. If something hurts them, they remember and don’t do it again, but they don’t dwell. It doesn’t help you move on and do better next time.

Look to the future

We’ve said the past is a human concept and in that case, the future is too, so don’t waste too much time on it day dreaming. Consider what you want to achieve, and just as you would if mentoring a colleague, give a nod to what you want to achieve in the future, but then concentrate wholeheartedly on the present. Give yourself a break, forget about the past (other than to learn from it) and ensure that what you do in the moment is better than you’ve done it before. And iff it isn’t? Don’t give yourself a hard time! Learn form it and move on to next time.

If you need help with a nutritional or fitness goal be sure to have a look at the various ebooks and programmes on my site.