“Don't be so hard on yourself, no

Learn to forgive, learn to let go

Everyone trips, everyone falls

So don't be so hard on yourself, no”

In May 2016, after about a year of CrossFit, five months of which was on a competitive level, I took part in my first regional competition in Barbados. I placed 11th or 12th, which was just outside the top 10. Although this was pretty impressive, especially as I hadn’t had that much experience, what I do remember most about that competition was how hard I was on myself for the minor mistakes that had kept me from making the top 10 cut.

That August, I took part in another regional competition, this time in Trinidad, and placed in the top 10; finishing either 8th or 9th (I can never really remember these placings). Again, what I remember most was how hard I was on myself: for that time I dropped the bar and could’ve held on a little longer; for holding back during one workout to save energy for the next without knowing if I’d even qualify for the next; for not doing more generally. I never gave myself credit for how far I’d come and how much I’d improved.

You know, I suppose that it is some kind of complex. When Bob can beat himself up when he makes a mistake, but he also never gives himself any praise when he has any type of accomplishment. He says to himself things like: “I was supposed to do that anyway.” “Why pat myself on the back for meeting the standard that I should have met.” “Why should I credit growth if I still messed up along the way?” “It’s me; I am Bob.”

Staying in line with last week’s piece, I have been doing a lot of self-evaluation. It’s something that I’ve pretty much always done, but within the last year, I have been discovering so many things about me that I did not know was there. As it is with everything, there’s some bad, but there’s also some good. Of course I’m not giving myself any type of slack for the bad discoveries (off with his head) and I’m definitely not feeling an ounce of pride (the good pride) for the good discoveries either.

I don’t know, it’s just who I’ve always been – never knew how to give myself due credit. I use high school as the perfect example of this behaviour. I was smart-smart in high school and I kind of had my natural intelligence to help me coast by. I didn’t put any real effort into those years of my life and I still graduated top in my class. And, of course, I didn’t feel proud. I mean, wasn’t I supposed to do well in school? As great as the accomplishment was, I just couldn’t really celebrate it. But man did I kick myself in the butt when I did some sh-tuff. I was my own worst critic, executioner and grave digger.

I’ve tried pinpointing a time in my life where this issue could’ve developed, but to no avail. Being a bit tough on yourself isn’t necessarily a bad thing; you should be able to identify mistakes or flaws and “pull up you own socks”. However, I feel like not giving yourself credit for accomplishments or celebrating victories along life’s journey can stunt overall growth and make the journey feel somewhat pointless.

Suggestions?

*Cues: Don’t be so hard on yourself by Jess Glynne*