How compassionate are you to yourself?
It’s an interesting question and one well worth contemplating.
Do you have a harsh inner critic that gives you a really hard time when you make a mistake or when you don’t match up to the high ideal that sometimes you may set for yourself?
Are you a perfectionist?
Do you worry about what other people think of you if you make a mistake?
I often remind myself that we weren’t born to be perfect, we were born to be real and real people experience bad days, make mistakes and mess up sometimes.
It is during these times that we need to practise self-compassion
Through difficult times self-compassion helps us to turn towards ourselves with kindness, love and care instead of trying to tough it out or repress what we may be feeling.
Ultimately self-compassion it is about prioritising self-care and treating ourselves as we would another person we care deeply about.
So I thought I would share three ways to build self-compassion into our everyday lives so we can be kinder to ourselves in what can often be a challenging world.
1. Be real
Being real is about our ability to operate with authenticity and achieve a greater level of self-confidence. It is about being genuine. In a world that is dominated by social media, sometimes it can be a struggle to determine the real self from the selectively designed image of the ideal self.
We may worry about what other people think of us and we may want to project ourselves in the best possible light, however it is important that we never lose sight of who we really are. It takes courage to show vulnerability and when we are real with other people it can help us to foster closeness, trust and intimacy.
Everyone we meet experiences challenges, insecurities, vulnerabilities and this is all part of the human condition. When we engage in honest and open conversations with others, we appreciate that we are not alone with some of the feeling we may experience.
2. Strive for progress not perfection
I am sure you may well have heard the line “Perfection is a journey not a destination”
We are all a work in progress and there will always be aspects of ourselves that can be improved upon, and this gives us something to strive for.
Having a good understanding of our strengths and limitations, our hopes and vulnerabilities is important. Appreciating that, for every strength we have we may well have a counterpart limitation because sometimes a strength overplayed can become a weakness.
For example, if we are very creative and generate lots of ideas, that strength overplayed means we may leave a wake of chaos in our midst! Raising our self-awareness by identifying the cost opportunity of our strengths can be very insightful and helpful, for us to balance them out.
3. Learn to love messing up
I know some people who give themselves such a hard time when they mess up or make a mistake. So much so that they spend so much time chastising themselves that they miss the golden opportunity to learn from the experience. Getting things wrong sometimes can be highly beneficial and I certainly know from personal experience that some of the most valuable lessons in my life have been as a result of some my monumental mess-ups!
Mistakes and mess-ups also help us to build our resilience and can end up being a valuable opportunity for us to learn more about ourselves and identify opportunities for personal growth. These life-experiences can also help us to empathise better with other people so that we can in turn be more compassionate and wise.
BiteSized books – Self-care collection
This BiteSized book collection comprises: Resilience, Mental Health, Sleep, Burnout, Relaxation and Wellbeing.
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