We are all well used to hearing the commonly used teachings of religious leaders, such as Jesus or Buddha, that say do unto others as you would have them do unto yourself, which, as we all know, means treat everyone how you expect to be treated yourself, an important message to promote social harmony.

But very often we find that we actually treat ourselves much worse than we would a friend or relative. When a friend makes a mistake we would console them and tell them it’s fine and not to worry about it, and yet when we mess up, the inner voice screams at us and tells us we are morons.

If a family member was applying for a new job we would give words of encouragement, while we often tell ourselves that we have no chance.

If we look at the work of a loved one, we will admire it and compliment them on the quality of the work, and encourage them to do more of it, whereas we will often look very negatively at our own work, and will tell ourselves that we should have done better, and that it will never be successful.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

We should learn to treat ourselves as we would treat others and ask ourselves how we would react to a friend who was in our situation. How would we treat a loved one in our position?

Of course, if you are the kind of person that would belittle the work of others to bolster your own self-esteem, then you need to ask yourself why you do that, does it really work, and are you pushing people away with your negativity?

But if, like most people, you would speak encouragingly and reassuringly to a loved one, then you should ask yourself, why you cannot speak to yourself in this same manner?

If we could all be a little more patient with ourselves, a little more forgiving of our wrongs, and a little more encouraging of our pursuits, then we would be a lot less anxious, and a lot more confident in ourselves. None of us is perfect, and we all make mistakes, so we should recognise that of ourselves, and cut ourselves a large portion of slack. We should stop looking for the validation and the support from others, and look for it from the person who’s opinion means the most — ourselves.