Developing Self Compassion
Self compassion – what does it mean to you? If you look it up, this is the description that you will find: ‘Self-compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. So to begin let’s first of all look at the core components of self compassion, as stated by Kristin Neff:
- first of all developing self kindness,
- then moving towards common humanity,
- and the third step is to develop mindfulness.
Self-kindness: Self-compassion entails being warm towards oneself when encountering pain and personal shortcomings, rather than ignoring them or hurting oneself with self-criticism.
Looking at the first component, self kindness – after all, this shouldn’t be hard, should it? Surely it is easy to be kind to ourselves? You would certainly think so, wouldn’t you? There are a number of different ways you can approach this. There are loads of exercises especially geared to help you. Perhaps the most simplest and easiest step you can take is to give yourself a gentle hug when you feel the need.
One of the key priorities in being kind to yourself is to look at how often and in what format you are self critical. These 3 main points will help you to move towards self compassion, and away from self criticism:
- To counteract self criticism is to really understand what it is about. To understand where it has come from.
- Then, rather than self-criticise, instead have compassion and kindness for why you feel this way.
- Finally, to replace the self criticism with a much kinder, a much more loving response.
Understanding, Caring & Nurturing
By understanding and caring about why we are so self critical we are on the path to heal and move forward. Instead of trying to be ‘perfect’, we can embrace the highs, and the lows. We can learn to take in the light and the shadows. We can move with the flow of life and stop trying to control everything.
It helps if we can care and comfort ourselves. To consciously ‘hug’ ourselves, to be kind and loving to ourselves and to be patient, to nurture and to love.
Take these first steps and see how you get on. I would love to hear from you! And you can read more of my Monday Motivation blogs HERE. Next week we will look at the other 2 components, common humanity and mindfulness. Be sure to keep a look out for it!