You are not allow to be nice to yourself [3 tips to stop the vicious shame-cycle that your self-critic creates]

Copia de Copia de Spaces.png

In a society surrounded by people who speak to themselves pretty badly, you can inherit the belief that you are not allowed to be nice to yourself, or that by doing so shows arrogance. Let alone if you have grown up in an unkind environment where compassion is not valued, and self-compassion is seen as a weakness.

I certainly modelled a way of thinking where I could treat others kindly but I had to be harsh on myself to achieve my own high standards, to avoid being stuck. My eyes were always looking for my mistakes and seeking improvement. In this way I would not let my guard down or become soft. I believed this would keep me motivated and would help me to grow.

Far from that.

Copia de Copia de Copia de

I started to see the role our self-criticism plays in anxiety and depression and when I started to notice it, study and research these problems, I decided I needed to change the way I was treating myself and that I wanted to support others in changing this habit too.

I am sure you would have noticed at some point that self-criticism is not really encouraging you to attain your objectives. You keep procrastinating on what you know could propel you to success.

Whatever success means to you It is not supporting your vision and values.

It is not promoting a healthy and balanced life.

It is not helping you to achieve the impact you want to, on the life of other people.

Stop the vicious shame-cycle that being harsh on yourself is generating.


1. Stop avoiding emotions that make you feel uncomfortable.

Instead, allow yourself to sit with them, make space to feel your emotions as they are, without judgement.

Where are they located in the body?

What shape can you identify for them?

What color is it/are they?

Has it/they got a sound?

Using mindfulness meditation to create a curiosity mindset will support you in understanding what is going on in your head, body and spirit. It will allow you to stop and respond differently.

2. Monitor your self-talk.

You can start by becoming aware of the emotion and track back to the thoughts that were going through your mind.

What are they telling you?

Are those kind thoughts?

Would you use those words to support your loved ones?

If not, what words could you use instead?

Language has the power to impact your feelings and your behavior.

Be aware of the words you choose, they will be the seeds that you are planting in your mind. What do you want to grow?

3. Take time to practice self-compassion.

There are several exercises that you could use to break the habit of shaming yourself or allowing others to make you feel shame. I have prepared one of them for you: The Self-compassionate letter.

Take some time to write yourself a self-compassionate letter. You can download the worksheet for free.

Practising self-compassion is much more useful than being harsh on yourself, it will take you further, it will make you stronger, it will support you in creating the habits you know will make you successful, ultimately, it will increase your resilience.

These 3 simple tips will support you to break the cycle. They will allow you to cultivate self-confidence and resilience.

From my experience Resilience = Confidence = Freedom = Adventure = Living a meaningful life.

Lydia Garcia Martin


If you want to learn more about how to develop each of the points below besides answering the question and want a more personalised approach join us at The Confidence Hub.