Personal development is all the rage right now. Culture often celebrates those who are self-confident but new research suggests self-compassion might be better than that in an approach to success and personal development. Self-confidence makes you feel better about yourself, while self-compassion encourages you to acknowledge flaws and limitations. Learn more about self-compassion and why it is so key to recovery.
Drawn from Buddhist psychology, self-compassion is different than self-confidence or self-esteem. It is a way of being, or way of treating oneself. Self-compassion involves treating yourself just like you would treat friends or family members when they fail or mess up. Self-compassion involves accepting the human side and that mistakes happen. It means not dwelling on those mistakes or beating yourself up.
Practicing self-compassion is key to success because it is about being kind to oneself, just like you would be to a friend and being mindful of who you are. Allowing yourself freedom to be imperfect is also key. Here is an overview of the components of self-compassion:
- Self-kindness: recognize all people are imperfect and they have imperfect lives. Be kind to yourself when things go wrong. Nobody lives a perfect life and people have suffering but it can be mitigated by being kind to oneself and not thinking you are the victim
- Mindfulness: when you are mindful, you face your pain and suffering. You acknowledge it for what it is and see it for the truth of everything it brings. Most people do not want to face it. When life throws things at you, it is important you take time to be mindful of how struggles or failures make you feel and why they happen. Be mindful of your inner critic. Self-criticism can be defeating and often plays on repeat in the mind. Mindfulness allows you to be aware of shortcomings without passing judgment on yourself.
- Imperfection: it helps you realize you are normal and not perfect by any means. Recognizing imperfection helps you feel more connected to others because you realize everyone experiences hardship. Flaws and setbacks help a person understand themselves better and help them not feel stressed out or badly about who they are.
A person who practices self-compassion recognizes the difference between making a bad choice and being a bad person. That person will recognize the value and worth of feeling unconditional love. A positive connection between self-compassion and overall well-being cannot be understated. Self-compassion provides a sense of self-worth. Less anxiety, depression, and fear of failure are also all good reasons to practice self-compassion and look towards the future without judgment.
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