In the west, we almost uniformly believe that being self-critical will make us work harder, perform better, and turn us into much-improved people. But what the scientific data show is that judging ourselves harshly and beating up on ourselves actually makes us weaker in the face of failure, more emotionally reactive, and less likely to get the lessons we need to learn from our failures. We increase our levels of stress, anxiety, shame, and depression. These then position us for a second tier of suffering: feeling isolated from others, feeling insecure or inadequate. Never mind the disturbed sleep, poor concentration, and less-than-stellar coping strategies, from binge eating to excessive drinking. Ack.