We really are our own worst critics, aren’t we?!
I asked over on Instagram wether or not you think you’re too hard on yourself.
The results were that 90% said that they were with only 10% saying they weren’t. Out of the 10% I asked, none were working in a creative industry… Which just goes to show how all us actors, musicians, directors, writers etc are just constantly thinking we’re not good enough.
So why are we so hard on ourselves? What can we do to ease the pressure? How much self-pressure is enough? I think that’s something we’re all trying to figure out…
I’m still so hard on myself and I must not realise it. I do a lot in terms of self-care, such as making my physical and mental health a priority, wearing the clothes and make up that make me feel good, talking about my feelings etc etc but that doesn’t really relate to how self-critical I am.
Putting on a face mask and doing some yoga doesn’t take away from the fact that I am so harsh on myself and am constantly telling myself that I’m not doing or achieving enough.
My self-worth is at an all time high, which is a big deal for someone who doesn’t often prioritise themselves… I know what I deserve and refuse to let that slip… but the ongoing battle of being so hard on myself just means I’m in constant conflict with my own thoughts.
I know the majority of you reading will relate to that. It’s frustrating. We won’t let any of our friends or family beat themselves up, so why do we do it to ourselves?
It’s so easy to focus on what is lacking in our life and what we haven’t achieved yet that we miss out on all the things that we have acomplished.
We need to take the time to remind ourselves of all the things that we have done. You don’t need to have landed your dream job to feel worthy. The fact that you’ve got out of bed and got dressed on a day where you feel incredibly low is actually a huge achievement. We need to recognise the small wins just as much as the large ones. Why not write 5 things down that you’re proud of when you feel the self-pressure? Even things such as making someone smile or actually cooking the right amount of pasta counts y’know.
Obvioulsy social media plays a massive part in us being so hard on ourselves. It’s almost impossible not to compare ourselves from time to time. But like I’ve said before, if ever I feel that social media isn’t having a positive impact for me, I just detox myself from it. I take a break. It might mean I don’t reply to a message for 24 hours BUT you gotta do what you gotta do. (so sorry for my bad replies)
I’m proud to be a grafter and I’m proud to have the attitude of not expecting things to “just happen” but there’s a definite downside to being that way. I tend to feel like I’m only smashing life when I’m exhaustingly busy. When there’s a quiet period, I feel useless and that’s when I become too hard on myself… Beating myself up and feeling like a bit of a waste of space.
Of course, environmental factors come into play, such as the time of year (Seasonal depression etc) or factors such as things happening in the personal life that effect literally every thing you know… All these things can alter the way you treat yourself and feel about yourself.
I realise I’m too hard on myself if someone compliments my nature or what I’ve done. I think “Huh? You think what?!” and find it really bloody hard to believe and think “Oh they’re probably just being nice!”.
So how hard should we be on ourselves? There’s got to be a fine line between being too hard on ourselves and being a bit lazy and not doing enough.
We need to work hard and be productive in life but not so much so that it’s a detrement to our wellbeing. We graft and then feel like we have earnt a rest but then when we’re resting we feel guilty for doing so and feel like we need to be productive… Eh? Why are we like this? In order to do our best work, we need to be able to do it efficently and effectively so surely in order to be efficient and effective in our work, we need to be fully rested before doing so, so we don’t burn out.
In some twisted millenial way, it is almost like burning out is the ultimate goal; because if we’ve exhausted ourselves so badly, then it’s proof that we’ve worked hard and done enough.
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been like that and probably feel a bit like that still. I guess it’s a generational thing but also a thing very common in people in the creative industries, especially actors.
We don’t always do a 9-5, hours aren’t always set, work is never guaranteed, we face more rejection than any other industry, we’re almost always never told if we haven’t got the job, it’s incredibly competatitve, it costs a fortune to just be an actor in the first place, we miss a days pay for an audition that could cost £200 in travel to get to a 5 min casting alone, we never know how much money (if any) we will get from month to month, we’re either super busy or super quiet and the inconsistency can make us feel so unworthy. We know what we’re capable of, but it is never in our hands. We can send all the emails, attend all the workshops, shmooooooze at shows etc but nothing is ever guarenteed. I think that feeling of not always being in control and force us to look at ourselves negtively too.
Saying all of that, I love being an actor and there really is nothing else I’d give my life to but the self-pressure deffo sucks.
We need more self-compassion as opposed to ongoing self-criticism. If we’re more accepting of ourselves, and realise we are doing okay, surely that’ll make us more productive and will encourage ourselves to achieve more and more?!
Self-loathing, guilt, worry and fear takes up a lot of nervous energy. We deserve to harvest that energy into positive and productive things. I know that is easier said than done but we must!
Maybe we need to meditate more, practice more mindfulness, write down or say out loud good things about ourselves and what we’ve achieved, doing stuff to get out of our own heads, meeting our negative thoughts with a kind reply…. There’s got to be plenty we can do.
What do you do to not be so hard on yourself?
Comment/DM me cause we all need to love ourselves a lil more xxx
Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuu 4 readinnnnnn ❤