In this article, we are focusing on pivoting and building emotional resiliency. Being able to emotionally pivot from difficult situations plays a very important role in a happy and fulfilling life. Things that get in the way include overthinking about an issue, self-criticism, or negative self-talk. These are all different forms of being hard on yourself. 

There isn’t any other way around it. You need to be easy on yourself! The real problem here is that you are too hard on yourself. This article will outline how to cope with these all through numerous examples. 

Overthinking, Problem Solving, and Self Reflection 

Let’s review some of these things. Overthinking is when you are ruminating about the past and constantly worrying about the future. It is typically related to depression or anxiety. 

In general, overthinking is related to a kind of depressive thought process and being anxious. If you keep repeating past scenarios in your head over and over again, then it is overthinking. It is different from problem-solving or self-reflection. 

Problem-solving is when you think or analyze the problem in order to find a solution for it. And self-reflection is when you’re deep in thought and evaluate to understand yourself better and then improve. Problem-solving and self-reflection are different from overthinking because overthinking does not require action. 

Self-Criticism and Self Critics

Self-criticism is slightly different than ruminating on past situations or the future. It is when you are negatively or harshly evaluating yourself. So it does not focus on worrying about the problem, it’s more about the negative things you tell yourself or harshly evaluating yourself and your actions. 

An example could be thinking you’re a bad mom. Such as blaming yourself for all the possibilities of what can go wrong or what actually goes wrong. The focus is on the mistakes you may make, not actually doing better for your children. 

Another example comes from working with a client I have. She was coming in for a session and slightly hit the curb on her way in. Her inner critic kicked in and she kept calling herself an idiot. At the time, she was not evaluating herself; she was self-criticizing.  

Negative Self-Talk

Finally, we have come to negative self-talk. With negative self-talk, you tend to use negative self-talk as their inner dialogue with themselves regarding limiting abilities or reaching their full potential. It’s telling yourself how you would or don’t have enough of something to accomplish what you need to. 

An example of this would be selling yourself short. Or you can’t count on yourself, or you don’t believe in yourself. You may personalize things that do not need to be personalized. Additionally, you always anticipate the worst. You may call yourself a failure before you attempt at anything, let alone fail at it. 

All these negative thought patterns lead to being hard on yourself. They are associated with being a perfectionist. I bet all of you who are having a hard time with all of these tendencies are perfectionists- which is a whole new beast to tackle. Perfectionism is not what people typically think, but I will discuss this in later training. In short, it’s about very high expectations that lower your self-worth over time. 

The Four Steps To Combating These Negative Thought Patterns

There are ways to combat these negative thought patterns to develop some positive and healthy self-concepts so you can pivot. These four steps include: 

  1. Try to identify these patterns and thoughts. Then collect any evidence that you may have exaggerated thoughts. 
  2. Create a new positive thought to replace each of your negative thoughts after reviewing your evidence. 
  3. Every time you get stuck in a situation that you cannot seem to pivot from, you may want to repeat the new positive thought to yourself as many times as you need to. 
  4. Schedule time to worry. If you do not, you may keep worrying and worrying. This way, you can give yourself space to feel your emotions without having an infinite time to do so. 


Try the above steps to practice not being too hard on yourself. Additionally, there is more than one way to be hard on yourself. The sooner you realize which way you are hard on yourself, the sooner you can get towards working on yourself. To check out more information on this topic, check out my in-depth video here.