Be kind to yourself – the Act of Self-Compassion
In our first blog for the New Year, we made a vow to make 2019 the best year ever! To start putting ourselves FIRST and following the 3 “C’s to support our success – Courage, Commitment and Consistency.
How are you holding up on your resolutions? Getting those 7-8 hours of sleep every night? Going to the gym 3-4 times/week? Making smart and healthy food choices?
Well, don’t be ashamed if you haven’t- over 50% of people who make resolutions renege on them by the end of January. Here are some of the comments shared:
I can’t lose weight.
I’m never going to get in shape.
I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror.
Let me tell you - that’s your inner critic talking to you, chastising you for not staying focused and losing sight of your goals. Your inner critic is that little voice reminding you that you cannot succeed and are destined to fail.
At these times, it is imperative for us to realize that we are not perfect. We need to realize that we are human. Getting down on yourself about it won’t help the situation- it will just make it worse.
How do we silence that inner critic? By adding the 4th “C” to our mental armamentarium – Compassion! Some of the best work on self-compassion and healing has been done by Kristen Neff, Ph.D. Dr. Neff encourages self-acceptance, not self-judgment, during these challenging times. Being gentle with yourself and speaking to yourself as you would a young child or a close friend in pain, are other helpful suggestions.
Interestingly, we find it easy to be compassionate to others, but difficult to be compassionate to ourselves. What if we could change this mind-set? Be compassionate to ourselves? How would that affect your self-talk? How would this make us feel?
Dr. Neff states, “Things will not always go the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us. The more you open your heart to this reality instead of fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all of your fellow humans in the experience of life.”
Stop berating yourself – start taking care of yourself. Ask yourself, “How can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”
Here’s a short 5-minute meditation that will help you treat yourself with more kindness and compassion.
We can still make 2019 the best year ever – with the fueling power and guidance of the 4 “C’s”!
Dr. Diana Hoppe