Tag Archives: self-compassion

Self-Compassion: You Owe it to Yourself

Most people intuitively understand compassion when it comes to others who are suffering, but self-compassion is generally harder to grasp.

The Opposite of Self-Compassion
The Opposite of Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion: You Owe it to Yourself

When you see someone who is suffering or struggling and your heart reaches out to them, whether you act or not, you feel a tug of discomfort (whether you reach out to help them or not is another part of the complexity of compassion) and you sympathize or feel their pain, that is compassion.

When you yourself are struggling, your first reaction might be to turn to self-deprecating humor or to think how stupid you are. That is the opposite of self-compassion.

What Is Self-Compassion?

Self-compassion is when you recognize that you are human and not perfect, and you quit judging yourself for it. It’s when you give yourself a break.

There are three elements to being self-compassionate, mindfulness, an awareness of your common humanity, and self-kindness.

How Treating Yourself With Compassion Affects Your Life

Putting aside the self-judgement and recognizing that everyone has problems, everyone makes mistakes, and no one – no one – is perfect, lets you begin being kind to yourself.

If you bump your head, for example, and you call yourself a dummy for it, you are literally telling yourself that you are dumb – for something almost everyone does from time to time.

Judging yourself harshly, even when you use humor, it’s still negative, keeps you in an emotionally beaten state, and learning to respond to your humanity with kindness lets you recognize your worth and it lets you open the door to a healthier, happier life.

How to Treat Yourself With Compassion

If you catch yourself in the act of negative self-talk, stop – just stop – mid-sentence. Then, tell yourself the exact opposite of the negative thing you started to say. (Say it out loud if you are in a place you are comfortable doing that.)

Think of something you would absolutely love to have someone do for you – then stop waiting on someone else and tell yourself you are worth it and do it for yourself. This doesn’t have to be expensive – it can be as simple as giving yourself a foot massage after a hard day.

Write some simple affirmations about your self-worth and self-esteem and list some things you do well – and read them to yourself several times a day – out loud when possible.

Surround yourself with positivity as best you can. Read books that inspire you, visit websites like this one to find positive messages, and try to find positive people to include in your life – but don’t sweat it if you can’t find any – because you can learn to be a self-compassionate person with or without anyone else, and you are worth the effort.

Are You Ready to Be Happy?

Life can be tough – it can kick the breath out of you and leave you feeling sick and tired of your present situation and ready for a change – and making a change begins with a state of readiness.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”                     – Dalai Lama

If you want to make positive changes in your life, you have to be ready, and only you can decide when the time is right.

Are You Ready to Be Happy?

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If you were to walk up to almost any unhappy person (if they were willing to talk, that is) and ask if they are ready to be happy, they would, of course, say yes, though they might follow the reply with a negative comment, such as – as if that could ever happen.

Very few people truly desire unhappiness, but people can get caught in cycles that recreate the same set of unhappy circumstances over and over, and it takes a lot to break out of one of those unhappy cycles.

What’s Holding You Back?

Feeling trapped, as if external forces are determining one’s happiness levels, is one thing that holds many people back, and blaming external forces gives an easy answer to a hard question, but not necessarily an accurate answer.

Self-improvement begins with being truly ready to take responsibility, to take control of your own life, and make things like low self-esteem, money problems, feeling lost and alone, exhaustion, weight problems, unhappy relationships, or lack of education a part of your past so you can live the life you want.

How to Be Happy With Your Life

When you are ready to move ahead with personal growth and make a change in how happy you are, there are several techniques you can try to see what works for you.

  • Get rid of the things that complicate and clutter your life.
  • Make time for peace and relaxation.
  • Take command of your situation and release negativity that comes from feeling powerless.
  • Don’ focus on blame, focus instead on what to do next to fix the situation.
  • Own your feelings. Somethings in life are just sad or infuriating, or hurtful – pretending everything is okay is fake and falseness holds you back in life.
  • Stop focusing on whether you are happy or not – focus instead on your goals, the steps you need to take to achieve them, and making sure you take those needed steps.

Taking care of your own needs and releasing past unhappiness is a form of self-compassion and positivity that can help you move ahead with personal growth.

The Power You Gain From Showing Compassion to Others

It’s easy to think of kindness and compassion as something you give away – that takes from you – but the opposite is true because showing compassion can help you increase your personal power and confidence levels.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

The Link Between Kindness and Empowerment

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When you show compassion to someone else, it begins to bolster your self-esteem and helps you grow your personal power.

Helping someone else broadens your perspective and lets you see that, no matter what your circumstances are, you still have the power to make someone else’s day, or even their life, brighter.

In addition to extending compassion outwards, though, you can also practice self-compassion — by giving yourself a break and by seeing your good qualities instead of focusing on things you perceive as bad.

But… How Can I Help Anyone?

If you are wondering how you could possibly help anyone, for example if you are in a bad situation yourself, the help and compassion you offer don’t have to be big and drastically life-changing for the other person in order to make a positive impact on your (and their) life.

In most situations, we all have to work out our own big and life-changing struggles on our own anyway – if we want to make lasting changes in our lives – that is.

The kindness and compassion you offer can be as simple as a smile that lets another human being know they have been seen and valued, holding a door for someone carrying a heavy load, or buying someone who looks cold a small cup of coffee.

What Does Compassion Mean?

Compassion is described as a sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings and misfortunes of others.

I would add to that definition of compassion that compassion is the inner force that awakens a feeling of empathy in us and that it is the catalyst that can spur us to engage in acts of kindness.

When you are feeling down, when you have a low self-esteem, when you feel like failure is washing over you — you are focusing on yourself and the things you feel are wrong or sad or pitiful about your life – and that kind of thinking is a trap that benefits no one.

Let the compassion you feel as you look at the people around increase your self-esteem and you lead you to a better place by acting on impulses to help others.