How Do I Know If I’m Being Too Hard On Myself

Last Update on August 30, 2022 : Published on December 5, 2021
Why am I so hard on myself

Sometimes I find myself being too hard on myself. I literally have to ask myself why am I being so hard on myself? Is it really necessary to be so harsh? And the answer always is No, I don’t need to be so  hard on myself.

We often jokingly call people “busy bees” but have you noticed such people are always working so hard? It almost seems like they are being so harsh on themselves. We all should have some room for mistakes too because there is no point in being so hard on yourself

No one is perfect and neither should we aim to be one. You can definitely work on yourself, you can improve yourself but have acceptance for things you can’t do as well. It’s healthy to do so. Always being hard on yourself is just not the right way to be.

My friend once said, “I am not harsh on myself on purpose, it just happens”, this made me research about it and i found a few reasons that might be responsible for you being too hard on yourself.

Also Read: What Is Self-Deprecation

What Is The Psychology Behind Being Too hard on Myself?

psychology behind being too hard

Why am I so hard on myself psychology says, our brain can trick us into believing a lot of things that might not be all true. Believe it or not, I sometimes feel like our mind makes us feel good when we are in tough situations. I think our mind is a sadist (just kidding).

What makes you feel like you need to be hard on yourself? I think it’s when you are too self-critical of everything you do. When you leave no room for mistake, if you are a perfectionist is when you become very harsh on yourself and that’s why you become too hard on yourself.

Another very common why am I so hard on myself psychology that governs this self-critical behavior is low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can be the reason why you are hard on yourself. Most people who deal with low self-esteem are often seen to be very hard on themselves and their kins. 

Everything they do you want to reach the extreme end or they want to be better than the rest. All such notions make people work really hard and have zero mercy for themselves. People who are too hard on themselves often think that they are not as smart.

Also Read: 7 Effective Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

Mental Health Related Issues Responsible for Making You Be Too Harsh on Yourself

Mental health related issues

If you are always too hard on yourself then there are chances that you might be dealing with some mental health related issue.

  • Eating disorder: Most people with eating disorders struggle with body image related issues. You must have seen people with eating disorders are always so hard on themselves. They must want to achieve a perfect figure even when they already have it and while doing that some often struggle with the thought ‘Why am I being so hard on myself?’
  • Anxiety disorders: when you have anxiety you don’t want to mess anything up. To be extra cautious you become so harsh on yourself that you forget to sit back and relax. You are always anxious about the mistakes you haven’t even committed.
  • Disorders related to Self-harm: people who indulge in self-harm may think that they aren’t good enough. They try very hard to fit in but somehow they feel alone and aloof. They often harm themselves when they fail even after being too hard on themselves.

Other Reasons of Being Too Hard on Yourself

being too hard on yourself

  • Abusive past: If you had an abusive past and you were made to believe that you are worthless and not lovable you might grow up to be very hard on yourself. That is so because you want to prove it to yourself and others that you aren’t worthless.
  • Critical parent or caregiver: if you grew up with a very critical caregiver or parent then you are sure to believe that you have to go the extra mile at any cost.
  • Dealt with a bully: If you ever were bullied in life there are high chances that you will be very hard on yourself. Bullies make you feel like shit and you want the exact opposite of that and you eventually become a bully for yourself by being too harsh.
  • Cultural beliefs: in some cultures it is believed that criticism is an effective motivator. Hence people begin to become extremely critical which leads to being too hard on themselves because you never feel satisfied.

How To Stop Your Negative Self-Talk?

One of the main reasons behind you begin so hard on yourself is self-criticism and negative self-talk. Perhaps you constantly tell yourself that you’re not good enough or that whatever you’re doing needs effort (more than you are already putting).

The best thing to do here is to try to stop that negative self-talk from messing with your mind and thoughts. Here are some ways you can stop negative self-talk;

  • Challenge your negative thoughts: we don’t always put an effort into thinking, thoughts just come to us, and believe them instantly. That’s where we go wrong, next time your mind gives you some negative thoughts, challenge them, negative thoughts are not always true. 
  • Engage in positivity: try to focus your energy on positive things, maybe create a positivity mantra for yourself and chant it whenever you find yourself indulging in negative self-talk. 
  • Have compassion for yourself: treat yourself with kindness and compassion because being so harsh and negative to yourself will only make things worse for you. 
  • Focus on your action: keep a track of your behaviors and actions, you should know that you are working hard and that what result you get out of it is not in your control. You don’t become a failure if you fail a few times. 
  • Indulge in self-care: self-care is a must, in your busy schedule of yours you need to learn to take breaks. Take some breaks from your work and indulge in some self-care.

How Can I Stop Being Hard on Myself?

stop being hard on myself

If you have read so far, you must have discovered the reason behind you being too hard on yourself. And it’s wise to look for some sort of solution. Here’s how you can stop being so hard on yourself…

  • Stop being so self-critical
  • Stop punishing yourself for the mistakes you’ve made in the past
  • Focus on the present and stop worrying about the future
  • Support yourself in whatever you do, don’t let self-doubt set in
  • Stop feeling guilty for things you can’t do, it’s okay you’re human!
  • Don’t focus on the failure, remind yourself of your achievements
  • Use positive terminology and indulge in positive self talk


Maybe you’re too hard on yourself because you think that’s how you should be. We should all accept our shortcomings, flaws, imperfections… celebrate them if you can. Don’t beat yourself up for no reason. You have one life, enjoy it!

Sit back and relax! Go on a vacation. Take a break from being hard on yourself.

I hope you now know the reason behind you being so harsh on yourself all the time. Will you still ask yourself, “why am i so hard on myself?” Share this article with all those you think are being hard on themselves so that they also are aware of the reasons.

Thanks for reading!

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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