Click to read: Why We Need to Practice Self-Compassion
Snippet: In the frantic pace of life, it can be difficult to keep up. Sometimes when we make mistakes or we feel we don’t work hard enough, we leave ourselves in the dust by thinking things like, “you’re not good enough.” If we’re not careful, a few harsh words here and there can evolve into excessive self-criticism.
This five-minute video animation from the London School of Life suggests another way to approach those negative storylines we jog through our minds. It also offers an easy self-compassion practice for moments when we’re feeling critical of ourselves.
Extract: A wealth of research shows that self-criticism often backfires – badly. Besides increasing our unhappiness and stress levels, it can increase procrastination and makes us even less able to achieve our goals in the future.
Instead of chastising ourselves, we should practice self-compassion. That is, we should give greater forgiveness for our mistakes, and make a deliberate effort to take care of ourselves throughout times of disappointment or embarrassment.
“Self-esteem is contingent on success and people liking you, so it is not very stable. You could have it on a good day but lose it on a bad day.”Kristin Neff
Measure how much you are cultivating self-compassion. On a scale of 1 (almost never) to 5 (almost always), rate yourself on the statements below:
- I try to be loving toward myself when I’m feeling emotional pain
- I try to see my failings as part of the human condition
- When something painful happens, I try to take a balanced view of the situation
- I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies
- When I think about my inadequacies, it tends to make me feel more separate and cut off from the rest of the world
- When I’m feeling down, I tend to obsess and fixate on everything that’s wrong
The more you agree with the first set of statements, and the less you agree with the second set of statements, the higher your self-compassion.
For many of us, the struggles of isolation, remote working and caring for the people we love have provided the perfect breeding ground for self-criticism and doubt. While we cannot eliminate those stresses, we can at least change the ways we view ourselves, giving us the resilience to face the challenges head on.