Is it ok to have compassion for yourself?
“To love oneself,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
The answer, if you haven’t already guessed it, is a big YES.
For most of us, it still feels a little foreign, but if you don’t show yourself some self-compassion then you’re probably in for a bumpy ride.
When things are going well, self-compassion is generally pretty easy. We’ve all been there. The going looks good and therefore it is very easy to feel good about what you’re doing.
It’s when things aren’t going to plan that we tend to forget to bring compassion for ourselves and instead replace with fault finding, criticism and negativity.
In the world we live in now self-compassion is super important. A simple concept that came from Buddhist psychology explains it in easy terms. It teaches us that self-compassion has 3 elements, 1. self-kindness, 2. common humanity and 3. mindfulness.
Being KIND to yourself is important. Especially at work, which is often where our stresses and pressures can be felt the most.
The next time something doesn’t go to plan, and you start to listen to the internal dialogue we all have that helps you to understand what’s happened. STOP. Just for a second or two and try to imagine what you would say to your best friend if this had happened to them or try imagining how you would phrase it to the newest member of the team. Chances are you would find a kinder way to say it than you were about to. It’s natural to be hard on yourself, but its not healthy so just try to be kinder with the voice in your head.
To give you a simple sense of common humanity. It’s recognising that everyone makes mistakes, and no one is without their weaknesses. No-one is perfect (not even that John in Accounts who never seems to mess up). We are human beings and we make mistakes. Learning to accept that you are not alone in your errors can comfort you by feeling inclusive instead of feeling alone. Once again, think how you would advise others in the same situation to get some perspective.
Mindfulness can sometimes conjure up images of lunchtime yoga and downward dog poses, and whilst they are in fact useful as part of mindfulness, they’re not essential. We simply suggest that you allow yourself some extra time to think, and consider how what is happening right now, in the moment, could impact others and you. It’s too easy to get caught up in what’s happening and lose perspective and mindfulness can help you calm things down. It could be that you give yourself a ten-minute breather when things are tough, or that you postpone making a decision immediately so that you can consider all the implications first.
Build your skills
One way to build stronger skills when it comes to these topics is to up-skill yourself. Get yourself onto some training courses that help you with the hard stuff. Learn to handle conflict, disagree well, think differently and creatively and learn to build your brand positively. A huge part of human development is constant learning, and at Well Prepared Training we can help. Check out our KIND page to see how.
Ask yourself this question. What do I need to make me feel good?