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Do you often find fault with yourself? Are you one of those people who makes a habit of berating themselves for what they see as failings?

If you are one of those people I won’t try to persuade you that there might be a better way. I have learned what a waste of time that is.

But I would like to suggest an exercise. It’s about practicing what you are good at, starting with the most obvious; reprimanding yourself for your failings.

There are two ways you can do this. Try both and see which works best:

1) Make a list of your top five most obvious flaws. This should be easy, limiting it to five might be a challenge,

2) Against each of the five items on your list, write one example of a time where the flaw should have stopped you doing something, or doing it well, but didn’t. This is called an ‘exception’.

The other way to approach this exercise is to do it on the hoof. There’s no need to make a list, just do it whenever a flaw occurs to you.

The beauty of this exercise is that you can still beat yourself up as often as you like, in fact, you can indulge yourself by devoting specific ‘exercise time’ to listing your flaws. The other positive is, you don’t have to give anything up.

All you have to do is look for a few exceptions, which has to possible outcomes. Either you can’t find any, in which case you’ll be proved right in measuring yourself by your failings, or you’ll develop a habit of finding exceptions, in which case you can start to feel better about yourself.

Whatever the outcome, you win!.

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