[class*="animate"] > * { opacity: 1; }
Create a future where young people value human dignity.
Help us reach our Spring Campaign goal of $200,000 by March 22nd. Your generosity will equip young people to stay in the faith, empower them to choose life, and transform the culture.

Stop Being so Hard on Yourself

December  29th,  2020
By Danielle read
Posted in Human Dignity

I was recently driving in a car with a friend when they complimented me on a recent success of mine. I immediately started making excuses of how it wasn’t that great, how I had so much help, and how I shouldn’t get any credit. 

I realized, why am I doing this? Why am I able to see the goodness and talents of others but fail to see the same in myself?

Do you ever find yourself easily being able to see the goodness in others but fail to see your own amazing gifts? I tend to be far harder on myself than I would ever be with anyone else. Although striving to be the best version of ourselves and to lead virtuous lifes is good, we must also look upon ourselves with mercy, the same way Jesus does. 

I have found that we as humans often fall into the habit of seeing only our shortcomings instead of the incredible things we do and the beauty only we can bring to the world. We think that we have to be perfect in everything for us to be able to “earn” Jesus’ love and to be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The reality is that we are all human. We all have original sin. We will all inevitably fail. Jesus knows this… He never expects us to be perfect. What He does expect is for us to strive for holiness and to love Him with our whole being.

A priest once told me, “Dani, You are far harder on yourself than Jesus will ever be.” This struck me. Not only did this give me the consolation I needed, it gave me permission to be human. To allow myself to make mistakes, and know that Jesus loves me regardless of the things I do. 

This all might sound just fine and dandy, but how do we practically start looking upon ourselves with the same mercy we give others and the same mercy Jesus looks upon us with?

#1 Remember we do not have to earn Jesus’ love. 

His love is a gift given to us freely, and is being poured out of his Sacred Heart at all times. It may be difficult for many of us to believe or comprehend that someone could love us unconditionally, even when we continue to fail. To forgive and continue to pursue us after we fall into the same sin again and again. The reality is that in our broken world we often fail to love each other in this way, which makes it hard to believe that anyone could truly love THAT unconditionally. BUT JESUS DOES. He will never stop loving us, no matter how far away we stray. He loves us not for the things we do (whether they be good or bad) but simply because we are human. Because of this, everyone has access to His love, to his heart, to His mercy.  His love is the only thing that can truly satisfy our deep innate desire for true authentic love. 

#2 Let Jesus into your story.

Jesus wants to meet you in the parts of your story that you are ashamed of, or the parts of your life where you feel inadequate. He just needs you to crack the door and He will come rushing in. We need to begin realizing that Jesus has always been in our story, even if we weren’t aware at the time. I did this with many parts of my own life. Holding on to these stories that made me feel unworthy of God’s love, were keeping me away from His heart. The devil uses these stories to make us feel ashamed and unworthy of the Father and His Son, distancing us from love itself. It’s difficult to love yourself when the evil one is actively trying to rip love from your hands with your own story! Once we let Jesus into these parts, He is able to take the shame and feeling of unworthiness away and often redeem these moments. Once we realize that Jesus isn’t angry or ashamed of us, it is hard for us to remain angry or ashamed of ourselves. 

#3 You can still be humble and accept a compliment. 

We should all constantly be striving for humility. There are countless numbers of passages in the Bible that are similar to this passage from Luke: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” I used to think to be humble, I had to reject all of the compliments others gave me. This is not the case, when we reject others’ compliments we are failing to let that person love us. There is a humble way to accept compliments, and a not so humble way. Remember, virtue lies in the middle. 

I invite you to ask Jesus for the grace to see yourself in the same way He does. And remember:

You are not the sum of your mistakes. 

You are not the sum of your successes. 

You are good, 

you are enough,

you are worthy.

Not because of anything you can or cannot do, but because you are a beloved daughter of the Father, who will never desert you. 

About the Author

Dani grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she did as much singing, dancing and theater as she could. She graduated with her license to practice dental hygiene in 2019 then moved to Orlando, Florida to work for The Walt Disney Company. There she found herself longing for deeper love and greater fulfillment. Shortly after returning home, she encountered The Culture Project at a FOCUS conference and was set on fire with their message of authentic, self-sacrificing love. “The Culture Project’s proclamation of Saint John Paul the Greats’ message was exactly what I was looking for. I felt a deep call to become a missionary and share this message with today’s youth and help them find what we’re all truly looking for; to love and to be loved in the most true, radical and beautiful way.”

Read this next
Learning to Trust God

Like most people, or at least most type-A people, I have always had a plan for how I wanted my life to look. It involved graduating from college in four years, and going straight in to grad school for my doctorate in fill in the blank degree. It’s safe to say that this “plan” I…


Get encouraging articles and resources from The Culture Project and stay up to date on the pulse of what is affecting teens today.

Join 30,245 others