We are often pretty good at showing compassion for others but not so much for ourselves? The question is, why is that so? Why is it so difficult to extend kindness to ourselves while we gladly offer it to others? Why do we worry about being labelled self-indulgent for being there for ourselves? Why do we hesitate to say caring words to ourselves when we do so for others?
As Kristin Neff said, “Self-compassion means being gentle, kind and understanding with yourself; accepting that you are not perfect; and understanding that there is potential for learning and growth in every mistake you make.”
So being kind to yourself is to…
- be less self-critical
- bring the focus onto one’s own difficult feelings
- address and approach them rationally, and manage them better
Our journey towards kindness for ourselves would mean...
- treating ourselves with warmth and care, and more so when in distress
- taming down the inner critic that harshly judges and criticises
- bringing in an increased awareness onto one’s own experiences and emotions
- aspiring to be in the present moment and focusing on the now
- Practicing self-compassion increases motivation, helps us to be optimistic, attain greater happiness and life satisfaction.
- Unlike self-criticism, which asks if you’re good enough, self-compassion asks what’s good for you.