How to Not Be Hard on Yourself

anna vital

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on self-compassion and loving-kindness, and this infographic beautifully illustrates a few of the concepts that have really stuck with me.

The first is that there are three components to self-compassion (definition by Kristin Neff: )

  1. Self-Kindness
  2. Common Humanity
  3. Mindfulness

…and these three components have counterparts– the things we do when we are NOT coming from self-compassion.

  1. Self-judgment
  2. Isolation
  3. Over-identification

My brain exploded a little when I read that when I feel like:

  • I’m doing something wrong (self-judgment),
  • My mistakes mean that I am a failure (over-identification),
  •  I am the only one who is struggling with what I’m struggling with (isolation)

I’m actually doing the OPPOSITE of loving, accepting and trusting myself.

What I tend to forget in the moment when I notice that I am beating myself up, or being hard on myself is that I have the choice to either come from Judgment or Compassion– Fear or Love.

But we do have a choice.

Judging myself makes me feel powerless, helpless and incapable, but remembering that fundamentally I HAVE A CHOICE to decide where I’m coming from is immediately reminds me that I’m in the driver’s seat.

Next time you notice yourself comparing yourself to others, judging yourself for a mistake, or underestimating yourself remember: you have the power to do something OTHER than beat yourself up, isolate yourself and push through or suffer through challenging and stressful moments.

We can choose compassion. We can choose community. We can choose being present. And most importantly, we can choose to love, trust and accept ourselves.

-E

 

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