"If there is one thing I’m passionate about, it's advocating for compassion within oneself and for others. Tremendous transformation in all areas of life can occur when one operates from a position of self-compassion versus self-criticism.
I would venture to say that self-compassion is a 'miracle drug', (minus any risks of nasty side effects). Oh, and it's much more cost effective too.
It would be my heartfelt encouragement for my clients, or anyone for that matter, to practice being more compassionate to themselves. Keep on reading to find out why self-compassion is beneficial and one technique to implement into your life right now!
In case you haven’t heard the news, self-compassion is all the rage now. Not only is it popular--it works. Self-criticism and crippling perfectionism is on it's way out...
Let me bust a major myth about self-compassion: it is not a cop out. Self-compassion does not mean you are weak, lazy, or self-indulgent.
In fact, self-compassion actually helps you be your best self. Researchers at UC Berkeley (click here for recap on Psychology Today article), found that participants who practiced a self-compassionate mindset showed increased willingness to learn from and improve on their self-perceived failures, mistakes, or weaknesses.
Participants who practiced self-compassionate journaling activities actually exhibited greater optimism that they could work to improve perceived weaknesses. They had a healthy mindset and more motivation.
Have I convinced you yet to give up self-criticism?! ;)
(If not, jump on over here to one self-compassion guru’s substantiated work, Dr. Kristen Neff to read more about her research on benefits of self-compassion.)
Can you be open to seeing how you can meet your goals, improve relationships, and your emotional and physical health by infusing more self-compassionate practices in your life?
You won’t experience a transformation overnight, but being committed to thinking, feeling, and doing things differently will allow for a different result. Self-compassion is truly a practice, and it is never 'mastered'.
One specific self-compassion practice I suggest involves monitoring and countering your self-talk.
1. Be mindful and aware of when your inner critic is being obnoxiously loud. (You know, when you are beating yourself up and/or replaying a situation where you felt like you messed up somehow.)
2. Select one of your specific criticisms and ask yourself, "Would I say this to a friend right now? If they were in my situation, what would I tell them?"
3. Say aloud the response you would give to a friend, repeat it in your head, or even better, write it down so you can refer back to it.
4. If doing this feels awkward or uncomfortable, that is completely normal. With time, I promise it won't feel as weird or difficult to do so. You'll be able to tap into that self-compassionate mindset and feel it for yourself more readily.
Since our mindset oftentimes affects what actions we take next, learning to either counter or ignore negative self-talk is a must-do on the journey of being more accepting of oneself.
Trust the process, taking it one self-compassionate statement or action at a time.
If you consistently struggle with being self-compassionate, please know that I am here for you. You don’t have to hate yourself. You don’t have to keep beating yourself up. There is another option, even if it's hard to see it right now.