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10 Quotes for When You're Being Too Hard on Yourself

It’s often easier to tell others to be gentle with themselves than to enact that same grace in our own lives. As human beings, we have a tendency to set high personal standards, and when we don’t meet them, we criticize ourselves for falling short or perhaps even for dreaming too big. The frustration we feel when something goes wrong is often self-directed, but this feeling of self-blame is a common one — and there are many ways to remedy the situation.

A big part of getting out of a rut is recognizing there will always be things that are out of our control. Furthermore, there will always be situations in our lives that turn out less than ideal, such as coming up short in a job interview or dropping the ball on a correspondence with a friend. The trick is to shift our focus away from self-criticism and toward progress and possibility.

Failure, or anything that feels like it, is a learning tool that helps us better understand ourselves, our bandwidth, and our drive. In other words, it’s an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. So the next time we’re feeling down, let’s try to remember we’re all doing the best we can. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 quotes that may be just what you need to hear on those days when you’re being too hard on yourself.

You must be very polite with yourself when you are learning something new.
Elizabeth Gilbert

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Those parts of yourself that you desperately want to hide and destroy will gain power over you. The best thing to do is face and own them, because they are forever a part of you.
Janet Mock

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I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could.
Eleanor Roosevelt

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It’s like a mother: When the baby is crying, she picks up the baby and she holds the baby tenderly in her arms. Your pain, your anxiety is your baby. You have to take care of it. You have to go back to yourself, recognize the suffering in you, embrace the suffering, and you get relief.
Thích Nhất Hạnh

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Don’t sabotage yourself. There are enough people out there who’ll do it for you.
Adam Gnade

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You don’t have to be good at everything in your life but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy new experiences even if you are not good at them.
Steven Aitchison

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You can’t build joy on a feeling of self-loathing.
Ram Dass

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Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
Lucille Ball

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Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.
Louise Hay

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Talk to yourself as you would someone you love.
Brené Brown

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Featured image credit: Ariya J/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
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