What is self-compassion? Before writing this blog, I googled for a definition but that just led to confusion. So I’ve decided to rely on my own intuition instead. In my opinion self compassion is about being kind & caring to yourself on all levels. It’s something that most of us have no problem giving to others but when it comes to ourselves we are usually last on the list. It’s time that you made your way to the top of that list or at least to equal first. Here are my 6 steps to help you get there.
Become aware of negative judgements that you make about yourself. We are almost always harder on ourselves than we are on others. For example, if we think we are so lazy if we skip our exercise plans for the day but if a friend tells us they did the same we wouldn’t bat an eyelid & we certainly wouldn’t tell them they were lazy. So, the secret to stopping this is to become aware that we are judging ourselves, then ask yourself “Would I say that my best friend?” Chances are the answer will be no. Then reframe it in the positive. For example, “It’s OK to miss my exercise sometimes, that doesn’t make me lazy”
Trust your intuition, your body knows what it needs so take notice of it & forget about the all the things you think you ‘should’ do. When you feel tires, rest or sleep. When you are hungry, eat. When choosing foods, ask yourself “Is this what will make me feel good, is it what my body needs right now?” Take notice of how your body feels after eating certain foods. If a food doesn’t sit well in your body or makes you feel lethargic, or upsets your tummy, ask yourself if you really want to eat that again. If you feel dizzy or nauseous when taking part in a particular activity, then stop. It’s a myth that exercising to the point of vomiting is good for your body! It’s all about self-observation & tuning in to what your body needs.
Social Media provides an excellent platform for us to compare ourselves to others & the result is that we usually don’t match up. We need to remember is that what everyone posts is their highlight reel, we tend not to post about our failures. We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. I know I look at other coaches & think their business is going great because they are posting a new workshop every week. In reality they may be cancelling every workshop due to lack of interest but obviously they don’t post about that. How does this have the potential to make me feel? Pretty useless if I was struggling to get numbers at my workshops. Another example could be if we are at the beginning of learning something new while we are looking at someone with years of experience. Is that a fair comparison? So what’s the solution to this one? It’s OK to look at what others are doing but remember that you are unique, you are not them & you don’t need to be like them. Keep following your own path.
When you feel as though you have done something that you don’t think you should have, instead of beating yourself up about it, practice forgiveness. It’s OK to mess up sometimes. Nobody is perfect. When you notice that you are being unkind or thinking about punishing yourself, stop & ask if you’d treat your friend or other loved one in the same way. One way that commonly punish ourselves is around food & exercise. We eat a ‘bad’ food, then plan a punishment such as missing the next meal or doing a double session at the gym to compensate. NB There is no such thing as ‘bad’ food. Food doesn’t have morals; some foods are just healthier than others. If you ate a piece of cake or an ice-cream, it’s not the end of the world & there is no need to punish yourself. Instead, tell yourself that it’s OK to eat the foods you love, food is meant to give us pleasure. The more we deprive ourselves, the more likely we are to binge.
We have become obsessed with people pleasing. We don’t want others to think badly of us or we are constantly seeking approval, so we say yes to everything we are asked or invited to do. If we are being kind to ourselves, we set boundaries & are realistic about what we can achieve. The more often we say yes, the more often others ask us to do. Being kind to others cannot replace being kind to ourselves. When we take on too much, ultimately, we crash & then we cant help anyone. If you find it hard to say no, start with something really small, then build up from there. If you don’t want to say no outright, try “Can I get back to you please, I’ve got a bit on at the moment, I’ll need to check some things.” That gives an implication that you might be saying no.
Lastly tackle a perfectionist mindset. Give yourself a break. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Others probably don’t expect that from you so why expect it from yourself. Striving for perfection also leads to procrastination. We know deep down that perfection is probably impossible to achieve so we avoid doing the task because we have already set ourselves up to fail. Perfection is also attached to seeking approval from others & judgement that I mentioned before. We are constantly seeking the approval of others & worry that others will judge us of what we achieve isn’t perfect.
Ultimately all our self-doubt comes back to a basic belief that we not good enough so that everything we do is an effort to prove that we are good enough. All six of these steps to self-compassion are related to feelings of not being good enough. If we truly believed we were good enough, we would always practice self- compassion because we would believe that we are deserving.
Are you ready to take some small steps to believing you are good enough? Start by picking just one of the 6 steps & work on it for a short time. Once you feel you are moving ahead with that pick another. Keep going until you are practicing all six steps. You will find that life is so much more enjoyable.
If you want some help with implementing these steps to create more self-compassion in your life, I can help you with some private coaching. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 0452 464 818.
If coaching is not for you, then check out my online programme “Self Care 101”. Get the details HERE
Pam Bailey helps women feel good about themselves every day.
She is a Conscious Eating Coach, Essential Oils Expert, Nutritionist, Life Coach & Heal Your Life Workshop Facilitator.
She has a particular passion for concerns around body image & unwanted eating habits along with stress management. She is also a Global Ambassador for the Body Image Movement.
Pam is an International Keynote speaker & workshop leader & also provides private coaching via Skype & in person.
For more information contact Pam on 0409 989 260 or via email email@example.com