Think back to a time when you disappointed yourself. Perhaps you missed a deadline due to procrastination. Or cheated big time on your diet. Maybe promised yourself you’d do a dreaded task and then just kept making excuses instead of actually doing it.
Now think about how you treated yourself when you disappointed yourself. If you’re like most people, you beat yourself up. Said all sorts of disparaging things about how you should plan better, have more discipline, be more committed.
Are those thoughts a successful strategy for changing your behavior the next time a similar situation arises? No.
Studies show that you’ll accomplish more when you feel good about yourself. When you treat yourself well you set the stage for future success. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to hold yourself accountable. In order to feel a sense of accomplishment you need to meet your own expectations more often than not. Nor does it mean you have to take on a sickening sweet Pollyanna approach.
Your behavior does not label you. Because you procrastinated this time it doesn’t mean you always do or always will. Cheating on your diet doesn’t mean you’re destined to fail. Look at the situation from outside of yourself. How would you help a friend in this situation? Rather than label yourself all sorts of unflattering things, create a plan for behaving or choosing differently next time.