The Power of Self-Compassion

How often when you struggle with something and it’s left you feeling bad about yourself? Contrary to our liking, many of us may find ourselves (sometimes unconsciously) saying unkind and hurtful things when these situations arise.

It is easier for us to lean towards negativity and blame ourselves for the mistakes we make – these self-blaming thoughts and criticisms can be very harmful. It will lead to us undermining our potential and abilities and missing out on all that you have achieved so far.

Instead, we should respond with self-compassion. Self-compassion is a practice of being kind to oneself, supporting and understanding ourselves the same way you would with your closest friends and family.

How do I be more kind to myself?

Yes, it can be hard to focus on the positive side of things. But, being kind to yourself is no different from being kind to those around you. Think of the last time someone came to you expressing their worries about something they did, you most likely responded with kindness and compassion. You need to apply that to yourself.

However, being kind to yourself also does not mean blaming others or ignoring reality. It involves accepting the difficulties you face and recognising that mistakes and failures are just normal experiences every person goes through.

Here are five ways to be kind to yourself:

1. Acknowledge your achievements

We are often very quick to say ‘Well done!’ and ‘Excellent!’ to someone else’s achievements, but we tend to either brush it off or ignore it completely when it comes to our own. Some of you may even think of it as you being lucky. This needs to stop.

Instead, be more aware of what you did to get here. All the hard work you did, the sacrifices you made, and hardships you overcame. Give yourself the recognition and acknowledge that you deserve!


2. Learn to forgive yourself

We all make mistakes, and at some point, we’ve all failed at something, whether that be big or small. Stop blaming yourself and putting yourself down because of those outcomes. Instead, show kindness, tell yourself that you will do better from now on, and look forward rather than dwelling on your past mistakes.


3. Take good care of yourself

A big part of self-compassion is self-care. Take care of your mind with healthy thoughts and conversations and your body with enough sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise.

Self-respect is also another important way to express self-kindness. Make sure to recognise your value. Trust in yourself to make the right decision, form your own opinions and make your own decisions. Don’t let anyone else dictate what you stand for and how you behave. Be your own person, and be confident.


4. Believe in your dreams

People who are kind to themselves believe in their dreams and goals. Don’t label it as a fantasy or a wish. See it as something you will achieve in the future and create a plan to make it happen. Respect your dreams! It is what drives you from the inside.


5. No one is perfect

Perfection does not exist!

People who are aiming for perfection often find themselves working towards something unrealistic. This results in low self-confidence, inability to get things done, and inability to grow as a person. Work towards realistic and healthy goals and not perfectionism.

We hope these tips will help you foster self-compassion in your life. Remember, it takes time and a little practice to get hang of anything, so if self-compassion is not coming to you naturally now, give yourself time.

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