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Difficult things happen in life, that’s the way it is. Not to trivialize, but simplistically seen, life is inherent to making mistakes, falling and getting up again, trial and error, giving and taking. But how do you deal with it? We will help you.

Coping with the situation

You can be overwhelmed by the situation, feeling guilty, experiencing loss of control and become very hard on yourself. But bad things happen. Whether it’s your own fault or not, it doesn’t matter. The fact is; what’s done is done and you will have to deal with the current situation. It’s hard, but try to accept it as it is, instead of getting yourself crazy over it.

Common humanity

Making mistakes, however, is human, and yet we sometimes feel like something is fundamentally wrong with us. You lose sense of connection with your environment and that can be very frightening. In that moment, we can forget that everybody makes mistakes. Try to relativise: what would you tell a friend who made that same mistake?


If you reflect on that critical voice in your mind, you may notice that criticism sometimes strives beyond its goal. Does this critical voice help you? Do you become a better, nicer person? Critically looking at yourself is fine, because you can grow from it, but it should not be counterproductive and block you.

Being kind to yourself

Being kind to yourself can help to keep your self-criticism reasonable. Start small by talking to yourself in a different way. If you spill something, maybe you usually say something like: “Oh no, I’m messing up; I am such a loser!”, bend it to: “I’ve spilled something, that’s not so convenient but also no drama; everybody spills sometimes, I’m OK.” If you keep practicing this, you can prepare yourself for more difficult situations that you will be facing in the future.

NiceDay app

Use the NiceDay-diary to note critical thoughts and consider an alternative. As soon as you notice that your thoughts are non-helping thoughts, you can replace them by the alternative thoughts. After a week, evaluate if you already got better at recognizing non-helping self-criticism and how to counter them.

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Tim Buijs

Here to help you every step off the way. Passionate about sports, traveling and movies.

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