Instead of Yelling at Yourself do these 4 Things

“Stop Yelling At Me!” is what I heard at first.

It repeated.

This time louder.

“Stop Yelling At Me!!”

It sounded like a little kid defending itself.

I didn’t realize at the time that it was.

When I first returned to my old free WordPress blog and posted And Then It Was The Next Day I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I was armed with new dreams, ideas and probably just enough information to get myself into trouble. But because I learned the value of starting instead of waiting until everything is right I did just that — I started.

It didn’t take long for discouragement and unrealistic expectations of myself to show up uninvited.

The discouragement was loud.

The unrealistic expectations of myself yelled at me.

They demanded achievement, success, completion and they were vague in their demands.

But they…was me.

I was being mean to myself. I was yelling at myself.

The first time I addressed it with Stop Trying So Hard — Relax and Breathe. I thought after that I got this now!

I did for a bit.

Then frustration showed up and I addressed it with You Can Defy the ARGHHHHHH! once again feeling like I had conquered.

I was busy deciding what “crap sandwiches” I was willing to eat when it got dark inside.

But the bad dark day became useful as I did something other than yell at myself.

I listened

The first time I listened to myself was when I was vomiting my feelings on the screen. I listed all the things that were making me sad that day.

Then I listened as I went back and read what I had written.

I gave myself permission to feel.

I validated the cause of the intense emotion.

I made myself vulnerable to others which connected me to The Love that Heals.

What came next?


I’ve been known to have a problem with that.

Recently I’d finished the books The Listening Life and The Art of Work, and had started Rain Down.

The spirit of grace elegantly connected the information from these three books. He wove together the fabric of things needed.

One thing I needed to grasp:

Process is not a dirty word.

So why does it seem to have jagged edges when I hear it?

Why am I so impatient with myself?

I need to improve at enjoying the journey.

I need to embrace my life as if it is running water. Running water cannot be held, only experienced.

If one tries to hold running water it ceases to exist and becomes something else.

I need to embrace process, let go of concrete expectations and allow my life to unfold in grace.

Which brings me to a second thing to grasp:

I will never be fully done so completion is a mirage.

Life is a journey full of many things we start and complete but then there is always more.

More to do. More to learn. More to share. More to accomplish.

“There is a great temptation in the pursuit of meaningful work to lose yourself in the process.”
Jeff Goins — The Art of Work

Hemingway fell prey to this taking his own life, his gifting’s lost.

Stephen King and J.R.R. Tolkien both encountered this temptation yet emerged victoriously. King tells a story regarding his desk and Tolkien wrote a short story to process his fears.

We are all unique, created in the image of God with wonderful gifts to share. If any one of us is lost, the world suffers.

YCNBR = You Can Not Be Replaced = we need you.

So the next time you are tempted to yell at yourself when you fall short of your own expectations (or anyone else’s) try doing these things instead.

Instead do these 4 things

  • Listen to your heart.
  • Embrace your messy life.
  • Share with others. Community is important. Join ours here.
  • Remind yourself you are loved.

And if you must yell at your inner child, then shout this:


(Zechariah 4:7)

Be kind instead.

“Be kind to yourself while blooming. I know sometimes it feels like your soul doesn’t always fit. It’s all a part of the process.”
— Emery Allen

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Adapted from article published at

Danielle Bernock is a the author of Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals. Follow her on Twitter at @dbernock

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