“Have compassion for yourself as well as others.”
This #mentalhealthmonday, lets talk about self-compassion. Imagine, for a moment, that you could be as giving, caring and understanding of yourself as you are of your loved ones.
Often, we can be so understanding and forgiving of others, but brutal critics of ourselves. We come to beat ourselves up over small mistakes, our inner monologues relentlessly pointing out how we could have done better.
We have the power to change that. To tell the inner critic to back off, and start living for ourselves, the same way we do for others. To be every bit as kind and supportive as we are to our dearest friends, but to pick ourselves up.
This is a potent habit to get into – its a wonderful intersection of mindfulness, acceptance and self-care. Instead of nitpicking and kicking ourselves when we’re down, we can regroup, embrace a growth mindset, and give ourselves what we heed to thrive.
The next time something doesn’t go right and your inner critic rears their head, follow these steps;
1) Take notice of your feelings – sit with them. Tell yourself – “I notice that these are the feelings I am having.” This creates a boundary between you and your criticism, while still being open to acknowledging them.
2) Tell yourself that its okay to have made a mistake. Nobody is perfect -we’re all doing our best. If you struggle with this, take time to remember that making a mistake does not make you a mistake.
3) Adopt a growth mindset. You made a mistake – this time. You aren’t there – yet. There’s a lot of small, but significant words we can add to our criticisms to make them beautiful expressions of growth.
Have you ever heard of growth mindsets? Its a wonderful way of looking at how we learn and grow, and giving ourself the empathy we deserve in order to achieve. Click here to watch a fantastic Ted Talk on the concept.
This #mentalhealthmonday, give self-compassion and acceptance a try. And if you’re struggling – reach out.