We Are Our Harshest Critics


            When I was younger, I was in a club that was against bullying in my junior high. We learned lessons on how to not be a bystander and ways to fight back against bullying without getting ourselves hurt. But they never taught us ways to conquer bullies when the bully is ourselves. For some reason the person we love to hurt is ourselves. We come up with jabs to say that will hurt others but what we tell ourselves is far more offensive.

            I do not remember a time when I was not hard on myself. I always pushed myself to get good grades and take on so many activities because I wanted to be accepted to college and graduate high school in the top 7%. It came to the point where it would be three am and I’m panicking because I should be waking up in three hours and haven’t even finished half of my to dos. I always had to be busy and when I could not do something properly, I would be so hard on myself. I would speak to myself with words I would never tell someone else because they were harsh and rude. I do not know why I found it acceptable to speak to myself with those words if I would never dare to say them out loud to another human being. And I’m not the only one who has done this.

            There’s this scene in the movie Mean Girls where the girls would look in the mirror and complain about some part of their body. Now, these girls were vicious with their snarky remarks but they wrote it all in the burn book. Sure, everyone knew how they were and could probably figure out the girls were, in fact, mean girls. But they spoke worse words about themselves than they did to anyone else. Everything they wrote in the burn book was someone's words and they only repeated it or it was careless and ruthless opinions on the other girls. But what was worse than that was when they spoke about themselves. They picked out their worst flaw they believed they had and put it down as if it was a normal occurrence.

            Your do not have to be a mean girl to be mean to yourself, you just have to be human. It is worse when it is yourself who is the bully because we don’t stop. We are aware of what we are insecure about and we continue to put ourselves down. It is human nature to judge. That will never change, but when we examine the world and then ourselves, we tend to find more flaws within ourselves than we do with our planet, and that shows the measurements of what we believe is wrong with us. Being hard on yourself because you have such high expectations for yourself can easily lead to you bullying yourself. It could be in a job. You want to be the best employee your boss has ever seen and even when you slightly screw up, you get so angry with yourself. It could be in a relationship. You want to be the best boyfriend or girlfriend to your partner and when you see them talking to some other person, you start comparing yourself to that person. This also happens when you go through a break up. You wonder what is wrong with you instead of what was wrong with the relationship.

            Am I good enough? It’s question most of us ask ourselves but we never want an answer because we assume the worst. Everything I do, I want to succeed in. But that’s not always possible. I am going to fail at something. We all are going to fail at one point in our lives. But we forget that failure is just a chance to learn so we can succeed later. If there was no failure, if there was no struggle, then there would never be no meaning to success. What is so great about success without the pain of the struggle we overpowered to get there? And if we are struggling why do we think it is okay to add bullying ourselves on to the struggle. That only makes the situation harder.

            I have not yet mastered the art of not being hard on myself. I still pack my schedule with so many activities that it gets overwhelming. And maybe I will never know how to prevent this because being critical of myself is part of who I am. It is a strategy that has pushed me past limits I never thought I would pass. I got accepted into 10 Universities. 10. Which sounds crazy because 1. Why the heck did I apply to so many and 2. I was accepted not only into public colleges but seven private schools. And if it was not for me and my mother pushing me I would never have accomplished this. So, there is some good outcomes from being hard on yourself. But never for being mean to yourself.  


            We cannot escape the negative words that comes from ourselves because we want to be the best and sometimes we try to bully ourselves into reaching that level. But when you start to hear those words; you’re not strong enough, you’re too fat, you’re too skinny, you do not deserve it (whatever it may be), you’re not good enough, take a step back. Take a breather and tell yourself you can do whatever because you can honestly do anything you set your mind to. Do not allow yourself to bully you. Relax. Breathe. Understand that things take time and you will get to where or what you want one day, today just might not be the day. Know that you will be okay eventually, and love yourself throughout the entire journey. I know it sounds hard to do. But being bullied everyday by your own mind will withhold you instead of allowing you to push forward. Stop being cruel to yourself. Stop doubting yourself.