In today’s age of self-help books and exhausting our energy mentally and physically at work, it is easy to think we need to ‘fix’ ourselves. The world we live in is fast-paced and we are always on the go – we hardly have time to think of ourselves. And when something goes wrong – an obstacle at work, a mistake with a friend or family member – it is important to react the way we would with any other person: with kindness and compassion. That might be easier said than done. So, how do you really demonstrate self-compassion with yourself? Here are some tips.
First, be kind to yourself rather than judgmental about whatever mistakes or failures you have. Instead, think of those things as a method to grow. Keeping a growth mindset is one way to avoid backpedaling with negative thinking, and instead is a way to encourage yourself to improve. Self-compassion is critical to growth: assess yourself at where you’re at, then build on your strengths. Be true to yourself and look critically at that, but not in a harmful light. People that look at themselves in a compassionate way build a foundation for improvement and growth and they are more motivated to work on their weaknesses.
Being compassionate to yourself also helps you determine what you’re good at. In the work setting, this is especially beneficial because it shows that you are committed to bettering yourself and learning what strengths you can give to your team. In a personal setting, it shows that you are aware of who you are, and you can give more to others as a result.
The next method of building self-compassion is to take care of your body. Eat healthy. If you’re tired, rest and don’t push it. Take a walk and get some fresh air to clear your head. Do whatever helps improve your physical self: this is an act of compassion.
Finally, don’t stuff your feelings. Nurture them. Think of a situation that was painful or upsetting and write yourself a letter that describes the situation and how you felt. Use this kind of exercise to extend grace and compassion to yourself.
There is power in compassion, and it begins with extending it to yourself.