In our zeal for boosting everyone’s self-esteem we might just be missing an even more powerful capacity for people to develop.
The one that helps you find the guts and perseverance to polish your gems- the traits, talents and skills you have and make you singularly you.
With self-compassion you positively relate to yourself without evaluating everything you do and unnecessarily comparing yourself to others.
It’s being kind, caring and understanding with yourself as you would with your closest, dearest friend.
It means being wise enough to know that we humans are all flawed, even the better than average folks, and counting yourself in the human race.
It’s being aware of what happening now, without judging it. Which might be the hardest hurdle for most of us. Since our inner critics like to remind us of all the ways we could, should and ought to be doing, thinking, and feeling.
Make yourself a nice glass of lemonade.
You can be self-compassionate when life just throws you lemons. When your schedule implodes and your washing machine overflows, leaving a sudsy flood stained floor behind. Or when you drop the ball, or do something foolish that makes you cringe thinking about it.
Beating yourself up or pointing out how much better you are than someone else are the easy options.
Pulling up the big girl pants and saying “okay, that was not good, this feels lousy and I am still a good decent person” is the harder option.
Now you might think it would be awfully easy to be soft on yourself- and become self-indulgent. Well that might happen, but from what I have seen in my clients, and what research shows is that likelihood is pretty darn small.
Higher levels of self-compassion are linked to increased optimism, curiosity, happiness, and feeling connected to others.
It’s also linked to lower levels of fear of failure –excellent fuel to keep trying and growing.
And less anxiety -less stress, what’s not to love?
And less rumination, running things over and over and over in your mind- even less stress!
And self-compassion is linked to a desire for your well-being and health AND more internal motivation to make necessary changes in life.
You are not letting yourself off the hook; you are giving yourself a break.
When you give yourself a break you are building up your self-worth that leads to a steady humble confidence less anger and feeling less self-conscious when in public.
And you won’t become a narcissist.
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Deirdre Danahar works creative professional ready to do their best work without sacrificing their quality of life. She is the owner of InMotion Consulting & Coaching, based in Jackson, MS. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.