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The Power Of Self-Compassion


It’s no doubt the grind is good … most of the time.

After all, hard work lends results, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is often the prerequisite to any significant change. Plus, sometimes you have to be a little touch with yourself in order to move forward toward a goal, especially if you have a lot of ingrained habits trying to pull you back.

However, can this be taken too far? When it comes to ourselves, how much tough love is actually beneficial? And what if tough love isn’t always the answer?

Let’s dive into the power of self compassion, and how and when it’s useful.

Tough Love vs. Self-Compassion

Often, when it comes to overcoming bad habits and staying the course toward our goals, we can all benefit from being real with ourselves. Really real. As in, looking at ourselves in the mirror and saying “Enough. This hasn’t gotten you where you want to be. To live without regret, you’re going to commit to the new, true you.”

There is beauty in this type of tough love. It’s the kind that parents use when they know what’s best for their kid. It’s the kind that establishes a conviction: from this day forward, we commit fully to our goal. And, every day, we recommit.

However … does this ever go too far?

Say, for instance, that you’ve seriously been pushing yourself, and you’re feeling like slacking did a day. Should you tell yourself to suck it up, no matter what?

Typically, we know deep down whether we’re truly slacking off and making excuses … or if we actually do need and deserve a break.

Determining this requires a little introspection, but it is something you’ll likely know intuitively.

However, we can often get into this mindset that nothing (not even things that are justified) will stop us now that we’ve committed.

Unfortunately … this can stem from fear and insecurity. After all, it took us so long to commit to this. If we break now, what then? So we continue on, and can get pretty harsh with ourselves when we “screw up.” Why? Because if we keep throttling ourselves forward, the past can’t catch us.

The Power Of Self-Compassion

That doesn’t sound pretty, does it? Of course not.

However, it is understandable!

But I want to bring up the beauty of an alternative approach: self-compassion.

Once you can get real with yourself and your excuses … you can begin to see opportunities for self-compassion, and this will likely propel you farther than other, harsher methods will.

Why? Because self-compassion is understanding and encouragement. It feels good in your body when you understand yourself and can reason with yourself effectively. It fosters self-trust, which in turn reduces overall stress … which in turn increases health.

How to Practice Self-Compassion

Be real with yourself. Are you rationalizing based on bad habits and making excuses, or have you genuinely done your best, and simply need some rest and a pat on the back? Accept your human need for understanding, and provide that yo yourself.
Bring awareness to your intrapersonal communication (inner voice/monologue). The way you speak to yourself matters immensely: speak with compassion.

If you need a break, take a break. There is no shame in this. This is a time for repair, and we always grow back stronger.
Recognize what you have achieved. Be proud of it.

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