Every day you have over 60,000 thoughts. The vast majority of them are negative. And too often, that negativity is directed at the one person who deserves it least – you. It’s okay to admit, you are harder on yourself than anyone else could be. You beat yourself up for all the things you think you should do better, should be able to get done in a day, should be able to figure out.
You blame yourself and judge yourself way more than you acknowledge and appreciate yourself.
How do I know this? Because I have talked with thousands of people around the world from the age of six to eighty six, from all backgrounds, races, and social statuses and the one thing they all admitted to – when asked and when honest – was how incredibility critical they were of themselves. And how little compassion and forgiveness they were able to give to themselves. And honestly because I, a woman bred to have a high self-esteem, be a great achiever and climb mountains and career ladders in a single bound, never even considered self-compassion as valuable as self-esteem, until I realized what not having it was costing me – my happiness.
We are in the midst of a self-criticism epidemic and a self-compassion drought.
Be nice to others. We’ve been taught that since the first grade. Be compassionate to people who are sick, less fortunate, or going through difficult life problems? Of course. But direct the loving energy of compassion and forgiveness towards yourself, everyday – forget about it!
But here’s the truth about your happiness – it’s directly correlated to your levels of self-compassion: high self-compassion equals more happiness, lack self-compassion and watch your happiness drop. You more than anyone are counting on you to be there with open arms, offering compassion and forgiveness without condition. You are counting on yourself to love yourself. And loving yourself doesn’t just mean believing you can do and be anything, it requires you to be kind, gentle and compassionate with yourself always, even when you fail, fall behind or don’t measure up to the unrealistic standards you and society has set for yourself.
How do you do that? That’s the question I asked myself too, as I seemed to have missed the class on self-compassion in all my years of academic study. It wasn’t until I began my spiritual study that the answers came. I’ve learned a lot about self-compassion in the last decade including the following three daring acts of love I use like ‘love weights’ to strengthen my relationship and self-compassion with myself on a regular basis.
Next time you start getting down on yourself, stop, drop and build your self-love by trying one (or all of them) out!