Self Compassion

I read a great book recently that really resonated with me, and I know with a lot of my clients.

The book is Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, in it she defines self-compassion as having three core components.

 1.     Self-kindness. In short: Be gentle and understanding with yourself rather than that constant criticism we can get caught up

in listening to that negative self-talk.

We need to be nice to ourselves! Beating ourselves up = not helpful.

2.     Common humanity. We’re not alone. We need to feel connected to others in the experience of life, many of us have experienced this for the first real time in the past couple of years, It’s important to see that our suffering is a part of the shared human experience.

3.     Mindfulness. We want to observe our experience - holding it in “balanced” awareness without trying to ignore it or exaggerate our pain.

Mindfulness refers to the clear seeing and non-judgmental acceptance of what’s occurring in the present moment.

Facing up to reality, in other words, we need to see things as they are, no more, no less, in order to respond to our current situation in the most compassionate - and therefore effective - manner.”

It would seem that to be truly self-compassionate we must combine all three of these factors.

However, to be really great at what we do, we need to have the belief in our own abilities, this is called self-efficacy and is key in our ability to actualize our potential and achieve our dreams in life.

Can you guess what enhances our self-efficacy?

Hint: It’s not self-criticism. (Research shows that self-criticism leads to anxiety which leads to “self-limiting” protective behaviours like not trying very hard or procrastinating - giving us the excuse that we just didn’t go for it and that’s why we didn’t succeed.

It’s self-compassion?

So if we can nail our self-efficacy – believing in ourselves, and our self-compassion – being kinder to ourselves, then we have no excuse as to why we cannot reach the dreams and goals that we have set for ourselves.

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