Self-Abuse Of Disappointment In Past Abilities

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We are going to talk about an absurd form of self-abuse that is nevertheless surprisingly common. It’s completely unnecessary and an example of wrong thinking, but this doesn’t stop people from doing it and it negatively colors their lives for no good reason.

The type of self-abuse we are talking about is when, on looking back on where you used to be and how far you’ve come, you get down on yourself for your past abilities. If there are tangible products from that time, things you created that persist into the present, you might feel embarrassment or disappointment at how immature you were then when compared to now, at how little you knew, at how much of a beginner you still were despite your belief that you were really good.

This is a lack of mindfulness, it’s living in the past instead of the present, letting that past affect your current state of being. But more importantly, it’s wrong thinking. The fact that you have progressed is cause for celebration not consternation. The alternative would be not having grown or changed at all, to be at the same stage now as you were then and therefore not be able to decipher any difference in your skill levels. That would be more cause for concern from a psychological point of view, proof of stagnation rather than development.

Walking the path of human self-actualization means constantly growing, it’s a continuous curve without an end, meaning you’ll always be able to look backwards and negatively compare where you were to where you are. In a few years what you consider good now might end up being further cause for shame and disappointment. Be fully in the present looking forward. When you do look backwards, pat yourself on the back for your growth and achievements, all the hard work you have put into your improvement, don’t get down on yourself for something you should be celebrating.