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    What Does Self Compassion Mean?

    Compassion

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    For 2 years, your brain has dealt with too much uncertainty & feels the pressure.  As a result, we get more critical than compassionate in hard times.  However, now is not the time to criticize yourself but find out instead; What Does Self Compassion Mean?

    How do you treat yourself with compassion?

    self compassion

    Self compassion means you:

    1.  TALK TO YOURSELF LIKE YOU WOULD A FRIEND:
    It’s easier to think of kind words when we imagine what we’d say to someone else in our place.  So if you can’t think of anything nice to say to yourself, imagine a friend in your position.  What would you tell them?

    2.  DISCERN BETWEEN UNHELPFUL & HELPFUL STATEMENTS:
    Some pretty common phrases we use that aren’t helpful at all:

    Unhelpful:

    • “buck up”
    • “look on the bright side.”
    • “things could be worse.”
    • “at least it’s not _____.”
    • “It is what it is.”

    Helpful:

    • “I’m here & listening,”
    • “that is understandable that you’d feel this way.”,
    • “what do you need right now?”
    • “I see you are stressed; what can I do to help you?”
    • “You are not alone.”
    • “I’m so sorry you are going through this.”

    Unhelpful statements create shame for our feelings.  Some of them look like acceptance, but their subtle consequence is to downplay the hurt behind the words.  On the other hand, helpful messages accept our feelings as neutral events without denying or judging them.

    SHAME CYCLE

    3.  REALIZE SHAME IS NOT TRUTH:
    A lack of self-compassion is rooted in self-shame. 
    When we judge ourselves harshly for making mistakes or not “having it all together,” we’re shaming ourselves for being human.

    When we allow ourselves to make mistakes without judgement, we open up space for growth.  Alternatively, when we criticize ourselves for our actions, we end up isolated & cut off from experiences that would foster our growth.

    4.  PRACTISE MINDFULNESS:
    Mindfulness is a critical FIRST STAGE behaviour that will support unconditional self-acceptance.  If we aren’t aware of our thoughts or feelings, we cannot be self-compassionate.

      • Stoicism,
      • Pushing our thoughts away,
      • Trying to “just get over it,”
      • INDULGING our feelings &
      • Getting lost in RUMINATING on the same thoughts…

    These are indicators that we aren’t in touch with our thought or emotions.  Find a Mindfulness Practice or learn one that works for you.  Mindfulness is like a power boost for your brain once you’ve acquired its skills, which is easier than you may think.

    You can start by journaling; get familiar with your own feelings by consciously naming them and normalizing them when they come up.

    In case you resist self-compassion because you think it results in complacency:

    SELF-COMPASSION DOES NOT MEAN:

    5.  SELF-PITY:
    Pity allows you to wallow in or indulge your thoughts.  Self-compassion is NOT ABOUT WALLOWING; it’s simply becoming aware of your thoughts & allowing them to be present without judging yourself for having them.

    6.  SELF-ESTEEM:
    This trait focuses on positive evaluations of our behaviour, thoughts & our successes.  By contrast, self-compassion looks at who we are without a lens or filter.  It’s about being kind to ourselves WITH all our imperfections, errors & failures.

    Self compassion

    7.  THE SAME AS COMPLACENCY or MAKING EXCUSES:
    Self-compassion doesn’t excuse you from reaching standards research indicates that compassion is a stronger motivator than criticism to reach one’s goals.

    8.  DISINCENTIVE TO HELP OTHERS:
    JUST THE OPPOSITE.  Self-compassion increases our ability & our incentive to care for other people.  The more self-aware & compassionate we are, the more we have to give & want to give.

    Finally, if you are finding this a difficult time – celebrate everything small step or every moment of joy you have.

    Gather those times around you like close friends.  Then, lean on the moments of connection you make with others: grocery clerks & 5-minute Zoom chats count.

    Together we’ll make it through & more so when we care for ourselves first.

    You got this.

     

    related articles:

    Why Vulnerability Feels Bad & Creating Compassion.
    The Ego Self & The True Self
    7 Ways To Start Feeling Better About Yourself.
    Feeling Left Out?  7 Ways To Create True Belonging

    Cheering you on,

    Cheering you on,

    Tess

    Tess

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    1. Dan S says:

      Thanks, Tess. Great way to start off the year – I’ve not seen those comparisons you listed before, and they make a lot of sense – I’ll use that!

      Could you perhaps do an article or two on Mindfulness and Normalizing? Or did you do those earlier and I missed them…?

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