We can be pretty mean to ourselves when we mess up or get rejected. We call ourselves names, we criticise, we shame ourselves. Psychologist Guy Winch has a better idea: play detective about the situation.
Photo by Ryan McGuire.
On the TED Radio Hour, Winch says that we have a tendency to say some pretty mean stuff to ourselves when we fail. In fact, we often say things to ourselves that we wouldn’t say to a friend going through the same situation. Being too hard on yourself can destroy yourself esteem, which doesn’t help you improve anything. At the same time, you don’t want to just ignore a rejection or a mistake if it’s a chance to improve.
Here’s what Winch suggests instead:
What I recommend to people is to become like a detective. Detectives are impartial, or they’re supposed to be. They just look for clues and facts to conclude things. That’s the approach you need to have to look at your mistakes. Be impartial about it.
Give it a try next time you start beating yourself up. Maybe walk away from the situation for a while, then come back to it so you can detach your emotions from it and look at it objectively. Then, see what went wrong and how to go about fixing it, if you can. The rest of the interview is definitely worth the listen, and you can check it out at the below link.
Is It Possible to Put a Band-Aid on a Bad Feeling? [TED Radio Hour]