How Do You Practice Self-compassion?
How many times a day do you find yourself in negative thinking? It could be negative talk toward yourself or judgment of others. It could be judging the way someone else is doing something or judging yourself for not being on time. It could be judging the person in front of you in line as he takes a long time ordering at the coffee shop or it could be judging yourself for not exercising, yet another day. It could be beating yourself up for not meeting a work goal or being short with your partner.
Negative self-talk is so harmful, especially when we are unconscious about our thoughts and feelings. My personal negative thinking comes up around my mothering; I was not patient enough or I can’t believe I spoke to my child that way. As a coach I hear how hard my clients are on themselves, I hear things like; I am not making enough progress, I am not changing fast enough, or I did not follow my plan exactly. The end result of negative thinking is feeling contracted, feeling guilty, feeling sad, feeling angry and maybe even depressed. It does not allow for acknowledging progress, celebrating baby steps, seeing and naming your strengths. It keeps us unmotivated and maybe even paralyzed at times.
The simple, yet profound solution to negative self-talk is self-compassion. Really, giving yourself permission to be kind and loving. Years ago, I heard a saying that is powerful, we cannot change our first thought but we always have the power to transform our second thought.
Get conscious and let that second thought be loving, first toward yourself and then you will notice how it spills over to others with ease and grace. The more loving and compassionate you are to yourself, the more you will be to the person in line, your neighbor, your co-worker, your partner and/or your children. Really, self-compassion works miracles. You will feel more progress in your life, you will be more present to the moment and you will feel more connected and satisfied.
Allow yourself to be kind to you, treat yourself today as you would treat your most cherished friend or loved one, especially if you heard them being hard on themselves. Turn that love to you and then seriously watch yourself, grow, expand and create more of the life you want. We are all human, we make mistakes but we do not have to replay the mistake over and over. We simply acknowledge, be kind, be loving, be curious, learn and move on. Again, self-compassion and love will work magic in your life, if you choose to practice it.
I highly recommend Dr. Kristin Neff, she has been studying and practicing self-compassion for over 20 years.
I invite you to test it out for two weeks and see what changes. As always I would love to hear from you…