Three-quarters of Brits admit they are their own worst critics and beat themselves up about appearance, ambition and even the decisions they make.
A study of 2,000 UK adults found people give themselves a hard time an average of six times a week over things they wished they’d said or how often they exercise.
Not pushing themselves more often, making comparisons between themselves and others and repeatedly thinking about things they’ve never managed to do are also among the 20 most common ways Brits are self-critical.
As many as 85 per cent dwell on their mistakes instead of putting the past behind them, and 78 per cent are even kept awake at night as a result.
It also emerged that while Brits shoulder the blame for perceived failures, nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) admit that life simply gets in the way of their successes.
The study was commissioned by weight loss brand XLS-Medical as part of the launch of their weight loss product, XLS-Medical Ultra 5.
Laure de Brauer, a spokesperson for Perrigo UK & Ireland and XLS-Medical said: “Our findings really show the extent of how hard we are all being on ourselves, criticising everything from our own physical attributes to our personal achievements.
“It’s no help that the connected world we live in puts even more pressure on how we judge ourselves – when comparing ourselves to others it’s easy to forget that we usually only see a polished version of other people that they want us to see.”
The study also found nearly four in five (79 per cent) wished they were less hard on themselves.
And nearly half (47 per cent) put their outlook down to lack of confidence.
The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 46 per cent have felt less productive during lockdown, and have even felt guilty for it – despite it being out of their control.
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As a result, almost a third (32 per cent) reckon they have been harsher on themselves in recent months.
It also emerged adults are frequently tough on themselves for their weight, with more than a third giving themselves a hard time when looking at pictures from the past, while 38 per cent do the same over current pictures.
Two-fifths will be harsh on their unhealthy eating habits and 35 per cent give themselves grief on the time they don’t manage to exercise.
However, 64 per cent agreed it’s never too late to make a change in your life and 71 per cent said they actively try to prove others wrong.
Laure de Brauer added: “In spite of our evident self-critiquing, we’ve been encouraged to see that people are clearly prepared to make a positive change, and will motivate themselves to do so.
"With all the recent uncertainty and challenges caused by the pandemic, we should try our hardest to remember that we are all doing our best and that’s just fine.
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"It’s time to be kinder to ourselves and take a moment to care for our own well-being, both physical and emotional.
“When it comes to weight loss, we are particularly hard on ourselves – we should try to focus instead on being a healthy and happy version of ourselves.
"Sometimes we just need to remember that we all have the opportunity to make positive changes and that starting to see change happen can motivate us even more.
"We should remember that sometimes we are our own worst enemy and anyone can start the journey to self-acceptance rather than berating ourselves each day.”
The top 20 things Brits are hardest on themselves about are:
1. Decisions I've made
2. Things I've said/done before
3. How I look in pictures
4. How often I exercise
5. My weight, in general
6. Thinking about things I wish I'd said
7. Thinking about things I've never managed to do
8. Not pushing myself more often/at all
9. Comparing myself to others
10. Not being very productive
11. When I haven't stood up for myself/someone else
12. Not facing up to my fears/worries
13. How I look in certain clothes/outfits
14. My social skills
15. Not putting myself first
16. Always saying yes/never saying no
17. Not being able to resist cakes/treats
18. How much money I've saved
19. My calorie intake
20. Making an effort with friends
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