Self-deprecation is something that we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. Though it’s usually meant to be humorous, like anything else, it has its limits. When you engage in self-deprecation too often, you might start to believe the things you’re saying. This can hold you back from your goals and paint a poor picture of yourself and your motivation. We’re all our own worst critics, but being our own worst enemy is truly damaging.
In this guide, we’ll look closer at how self-deprecation can hold you back from your goals, specifically your fitness goals. How you view yourself has a much greater impact on life and success than you might realize. It’s time to push self-deprecating thoughts aside and embrace your strengths, so you can live a happy, fulfilling life.
Self-Criticism Is Ok
We must be critical of ourselves. This is part of personal growth, and helps us see our mistakes and shortcomings. No one is perfect and no one can attain perfection, but life is a continuous cycle of change and improvement (if you take the right steps). Without self-criticism, we won’t know where we need to improve, but there’s a difference between healthy self-criticism and harmful self-deprecation.
When others criticize us, we tend to take the comments right to the heart. We take them personally, viewing outside criticism as a slight on our character. The truth is, we need some level of criticism from outside sources as well, to balance out our own observations. If both you and those around you notice a particular flaw or weakness, it’s probably time to address it.
Suffering from poor self-esteem can be a product of constant self-deprecation, depression, or other conditions. Many people struggle with their self-esteem; whether it’s because of how they look, how they act, or due to the fact that they don’t seem to fit in anywhere. What self-esteem struggles have you experienced?
While poor self-esteem isn’t uncommon, it can still hold you back from your goals. If you don’t like the way you look, you’ll end up choosing one of two paths: you’ll either be motivated to change it by working out and taking better care of yourself, or you’ll simply ignore it and continue to feel poorly about how you look. If you add self-deprecation into the mix, the chances are high that you’ll ignore the problem because you won’t think you deserve to look better.
Fitness Can Change Your Life
When you embrace a fit and active lifestyle, you’re setting yourself to a higher standard. Working out can make you feel and look great, which does wonders for your mental health and can even help address issues like poor self-esteem. Aside from your mental health, staying active also has obvious physical benefits, which include:
- Reduced risk of chronic conditions like heart disease/failure
- Reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiac complications
- Reduced risk of obesity
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- More energy and motivation
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Stronger bones, joints, and muscles
There have been reports of people turning around potentially life-threatening conditions by simply changing their lifestyle to a more active one. The benefits reach far beyond the scope of this article, but you get the point.
How To Get Out Of Your Own Way
The only thing holding you back from reaching your fitness goals is you. It’s not the neighbor’s loud music at 2 am, it’s not the job that keeps you busy until after six every day, and it’s certainly not a lack of opportunity. Even if you don’t have a gym membership or workout equipment, there are plenty of home exercises that can get you in shape.
The first step to getting out of your own way is to examine your strengths. What are you good at? What are you known for? What can you be confident in? Nothing isn’t an answer, because everyone has strengths and talents. Maybe you’re an excellent organizer, great with people, or have a serious attention to detail. Or, maybe you’ve beat every Super Mario game ever made. That’s still a talent.
Use these strengths and talents to build a better foundation of self-confidence. When those self-deprecating thoughts threaten to derail your progress, remember the foundation you’ve built. Focus on your strengths. If you did x, you can get to y.
The Bottom Line
Self-deprecation can become a serious hindrance to your life and fitness goals. Addressing the problem quickly and effectively might mean facing some hard truths, but you’ll be better for it. Leading a healthy, active lifestyle is certainly worth the effort. The benefits of being in shape simply can’t be overstated. It’s time to make your self-deprecation and criticism work for you instead of against you.