How Self-Compassion leads to Success.

Self-Compassion leads to success


Do you know that there are specific behaviors that can stop us from achieving what we dream?

Common behaviors that distract us from creativity, the ability to dream bigger, to achieve our goals and experience success are: harsh self-criticism, negative thinking, constant self-doubt and lack of self-compassion.

The importance of self-compassion in our personal and professional lives is highlighted in the research by Dr Kristin Neff.

Compassion for yourself is not really different from having compassion for others. When we sympathize someone when he fails or makes mistakes, we offer kindness, understanding, we avoid harsh criticism and we support him in practical ways. When you practice compassion, it means that you realize that failure and imperfection are part of the common human experience.

Self-compassion implies that you act in the same way towards yourself when you face difficulties or fail in a venture. Instead of becoming once again tough with you, Dr Neff suggests to stop and say " how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?"

Perhaps most important, having self-compassion means that you honor and accept your human nature. The truth is that often life does not run as we want. On our way we experience frustrations, losses, we make mistakes and we fail. This is the human condition, a reality that we all share. The more you open your heart to this reality than to fight against it, the more compassion you may feel for yourself and all your fellow humans.

Read some useful exercises suggested by Dr Neff to incorporate self-compassion you’re your everyday life.


Treat yourself to be your friend

How would you treat a friend?

On a sheet of paper answer the following questions:

First, think about times when a close friend feels really bad about him or herself or is really struggling in some way. How would you respond to your friend in this situation (especially when you’re at your best)? Please write down what you typically do, what you say, and note the tone in which you typically talk to your friends.

Now think of moments when you feel bad about yourself or when you are struggling. How would you respond to yourself in these cases? Write down what you usually do, what you say and note the tone you usually talk to yourself.

Did you notice differences? If so, ask yourself why. What factors or fears come into play that lead you to treat yourself and others so differently?

Note how you think that things can change if you respond to yourself in the same way you did with a friend.


Change your critical self-talk

This exercise should be done within a few weeks and in the long run it will change the way you relate to yourself.

The first step is to observe when you make harsh criticisms of yourself. For some, this inner voice is so common that they cannot easily recognize it.

Observe the negative words you use and identify your internal judge.

For example, you just completed something important in your job and you noticed something went wrong. Are words like "what silly I am" or "I am a failure" or "I am inadequate", etc., in your mind?

Try to get a clear sense of how you talk to yourself.

Now make an effort to soften your self-critical voice and do it with compassion. Talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend who is experiencing a difficulty or experiencing a small failure, what would you say to him?

Speak to yourself as your best friend, with love, care and compassion.


Identify what you really want

Think of the ways in which you can use self-criticism as an incentive.

Is there a personal characteristic that you criticize yourself as, (I procrastinate, I'm lazy, I'm too impulsive, etc.)? If so, first try to identify it and give it space to feel and give yourself compassion for the experience of feeling so judged. Then try to reframe your inner dialogue so that it is more encouraging and supportive.

Always remember that if you really want to motivate yourself, love is stronger than fear. Self-compassion leads to resilience, which is a key element for long-term integration and the key to personal and professional success.

Source: Dr Kristin Neff.