Why You Shouldn’t Get Down On Yourself

keeptryingDo you blame yourself for your current state of not eating the way you should, or exercising the way you should, or not cleaning up your act in some fashion? If you do you are not alone. Many of us have the tendency to blame ourselves, feel bad about ourselves, and therefore endure feelings of shame and guilt because we are not living up to our expectations for ourselves.

Unfortunately this self blame will probably not help you. It may in fact keep you stuck in your pattern of unhealthy behavior. The negative energy and feelings weights you down and prevents you from moving forward. This blame game makes you feel even worse about yourself. As you feel guilty you look for something to make yourself feel better, which is very likely to be the very thing that you are trying to avoid. And so the cycle continues.

So what can you do instead?

1. Practice loving kindness. Who deserves loving kindness more than yourself? I once read a book which really helped me realize I had a choice in how I react to situations. Most of us think that if something happens that we don’t like we need to show our disapproval as a sort of punishment or deterrent of future bad behavior. If we don’t assign blame and withdraw our love then the behavior will occur again. But is this really true?

What if instead we recognized the “misdeed” but did not exact punishment? Would there be something else that would help encourage good behavior? Yes, I think there is.

I think most people want to do what is right. They want to feel their best. They want to live their lives in alignment with their higher purpose. They don’t need the fear of disapproval to be “good".

In addition there are the natural consequences for our behaviors that act as deterrents. For example I know that if I binge on sugar I will end up with a killer headache. Often this knowledge will keep me from overdoing it. Not always, but devaluing myself and heaping blame, anger, and shame on top of the consequences is not helpful.

2. Pump yourself up! Do you spend as much time focusing on your strengths and positive qualities as you do cutting yourself down? Are you harder on yourself than you are others? Take some time to list your strengths. What gifts do you bring to your friends, family and your community? Ask your friends and colleagues to tell you what your 3 best qualities are. Remind yourself that you are here on this earth with a purpose to fulfill.

My Best Qualities

3. Reframe and move forward. Take responsibility for your actions, acknowledge that you did make a mistake. Then use that experience for growth. Each stumble and fall is in fact an opportunity for success.

Unfortunately there are situations and experiences all around us that seem to be determined to knock us off track and keep us down. But you can prevail, IF you know how. And how will you learn how? By using each mistake, or misstep as an opportunity to learn how to be successful. What was it that tripped you up? What can you do differently to side step that potential problem the next time?


We all need support, especially when we are making important changes in our lives that go against the beaten path. Going it alone when you are struggling with anxiety and fear of failure is hard on the psyche. In walks the self blame, self-doubt, the stress cravings and self sabotaging behavior.

That’s why we are here, so you don’t have to go it alone. Pamoja! is a powerful online program to help you figure out why what you've been doing isn't working and create a plan that will change your life. If you want to learn more click on the button in the box below.

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

2 comments on “Why You Shouldn’t Get Down On Yourself

  1. Hi Ama,
    Remember me,,, Wendy from Detroit. This recent information came to my in-box at the right time. since our last conversation, I have committed to sticking it out when I got weak. I realized that I had to give up fish as well because it was the next thing to meat eating and caused me to back slide further. I also realized that I had to take my eating and food preparation into my own hands and not rely on processed vegan food. I found most of it salty and someone tasteless. Now that I am exploring recipes that require fresh ingredients and easy to prepare my experience is looking up.

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