How to be Tough on Yourself

“Life is not easy, life is tough, but when you’re tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you.” Zig Ziglar.

I’ve talked in the past about how we punish ourselves with our inner critic–that voice I call the “gremlin”. This is not the kind of being tough on oneself that I am going to be talking about today. This is the toughness of self-discipline. This is the toughness of pushing through, even when it feels like you haven’t anything left to push with.

To me, the best picture of being tough on oneself is Tara from a recent season of “The Biggest Loser.” No matter what the other contestants did to stop her, she would almost miraculously pull through. In one episode, everyone dumped hundreds of pounds into a car that she had to pull. Even with the excess weight, she came from far behind to win. It was not strength that enabled her to win. It was her will, her beliefs about herself. It was her being tough on herself.

Most of us, when we are tough on ourselves, do not do it constructively. We focus on our short comings. We focus on what we perceive to be failures. Then we criticize ourselves. Someone once said, “If we treated our friends the way we treat ourselves, we’d all be in jail”. Tara did not win because she criticized herself. She won because she convinced herself that she could win. She built herself up.

In working on our practices, we have many things that need doing, but are out of our comfort zone. For me, it is making phone calls. Those areas that are tough for us are usually areas where our gremlin, the voice that says, “You’re not good enough” “You’re not smart enough” “You’re not ______ enough”, gets the loudest.

Back to Zig Ziglar’s quote. This is the time when we do not shut out that voice–we just replace it with a constructive message. “I am good enough!” “I am smart enough!” “I can do this!” “I give myself permission to do those things that I fear”.  Doing this is NOT easy!! It is tough!! But if we are tough on ourselves, life is going to be infinitely easier on us.

’til next time,


3 Responses to How to be Tough on Yourself

  1. Aradia says:

    That is a wonderful post! Thank you so much!

  2. Saneh says:

    very motivational! i believe i need this advice inorder to get better at what i do

  3. sherven says:

    Good article and true indeed. Zig ziglar’s quote is really worth to be applied in our lives.Thank you!

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