Why am I so hard on myself?

+29 votes
asked Apr 2, 2015 in Health & Wellness by GrettaPulver (710 points)
I’m too hard on myself.  I’m usually happy, I just feel terrible every time I make a mistake. I get anxious and make more mistakes trying to fix the first one. What’s wrong with me? Please help.

3 Answers

+11 votes
answered Aug 5, 2015 by JohannaWoodh (360 points)

Try this psychology test to see if it describes how you are feeling:


Being too hard on yourself can be a sign that you lack self-acceptance. Self-acceptance means accepting all your flaws and mistakes as part of yourself. Tolerating yourself though you may be imperfect in some ways. There are two main reasons people treat themselves like this:

  1. The idea that if you punish yourself enough, you will change. Accepting yourself unconditionally is hard because you must realize that punishing yourself with negative thoughts won’t change who you are. The anxiety is a form of self-punishment.
  2. You don’t think you deserve to accept yourself. The messages from other people from the media become ideas deeply ingrained, partly due to making mistakes. You are told many times and from many different sources that “you’re wrong”. All of these negative messages cause you to internalize the feeling that you are defective. You don’t feel that you deserve to accept yourself.

No matter what the reason is, it’s better to love yourself than to be trapped in negativity. This link has 10 ways you can stop being hard on yourself.


+5 votes
answered Aug 4, 2015 by WinifredAgui (260 points)

Why am I so hard on myself? In fact, it’s easy to be hard on yourself. As the saying goes, “You are your own worst enemy”. When I feel like that, I try to think about two things: First, did I prepare as well as I could have? If I score low on an exam, is it because I should have studied more? Did I have more time I could have dedicated to studying, or were there other tasks that needed my attention? Did I learn something? And second, what influence does my mistake have? Everyone makes mistakes. We’re only human.

This website has some more tips to stop being hard on yourself:


0 votes
answered May 2, 2015 by MaurineFende (280 points)
I feel the same way sometimes. I’m not an expert, but when I make a mistake and start getting down on myself, I try to think about the big picture, and ask myself if my mistake will matter in a year, a month, a week, or even tomorrow. Chances are, nobody will remember it anyway, because your mistakes seem bigger to you than they do to everyone else. Also, when you make a mistake, think of it as a learning experience. As for caring about other people’s opinions, I think if someone really thinks I’m terrible, it’s sad that they’re wasting so much time with negativity towards me when they can’t change who I am. If someone says something mean to you, just take the high road. I’m not sure if this will help but these are some ways I deal with those kinds of feelings.
Welcome to Instant Answer, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.