Why am I so mean to myself? It’s time to get self-compassionate


Do you sometimes find yourself being mean and critical to yourself and your body? You are not alone.

As a counsellor, it has been shocking to me how many of us (I mean, really it’s ALLLL of us!) are critical, judgey, self doubting to ourselves. And the results are that we become really down on ourselves. We start to lose trust in our worth and goodness. In short, we become insecure.

We have been bombarded with thousands of messages everyday, all our lives, comparing, judging and shaming our bodies. The constant consumerist messages telling us we need to be better by buying their product, the shaming of fat, diversity and aging, the objectification and sexualisation of women’s bodies, and then the shaming of sexuality. Social media adds to all this, as we all show the world filtered, collated versions of ourselves.

It can start to feel like the world is obsessed with how bodies look, and over time it makes us feel like our worth is centred on our looks. Not our kindness, or our skills or talents, but our looks. And then the messaging makes us feel that our particular looks, quite franklly, just don’t measure up.

This constant nasty input creates a tendency for us to become nasty inside with self-judgement, self-criticism and negativity towards ourselves and our own bodies. As humans, it is natural for us to internalise that and turn it on ourselves, hoping that if we improve and get better, the problem will go away. But the Beauty Load is insatiable and the demand for us to change is never ending. Our internal world gets negative but there is no satisfaction, no end point, no sense of achievement, and so the cycle continues.

We have no control over the beauty messaging in our culture. But what we do have control over is how we speak to ourselves.

In my time writing the Beauty Load book, helping clients process body shame and in interviewing my guests on my Beauty Load podcast, I have realised that what we need to overcome this internal angst is self-compassion.

Self compassion is the key to releasing ourselves from the internal pressure and negativity of the Beauty Load and to helping us find kindness, confidence and acceptance for our bodies so that we can get on with living our best and most confident lives.

I have created From Insecurity to Body Confidence, a Self-compassionate approach to overcoming the angst of the Beauty Load to guide you to the kind and compassionate inner world that helps you feel confident in your body, in this world obsessed with beauty.

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Nicole Mathieson

Hi, I'm Nicole Mathieson, a relationship and body image coach, couple therapist and author.

My relationships blog helps couples learn practical ways to cultivate a deeper understanding of one another, find safety and connection in relationships, navigate difficult conversations and repair after conflict.