4 Ways to Develop Self-Compassion & Be Kinder to Yourself

How do you react when the person closest to you goes through a difficult time?

What do you say when they make a mistake?

How do you treat them when they fall short?

Now think of how you treat yourself in those 3 situations.

What standards do you hold yourself to?

And how kind are you to yourself when these standards are not met?

Contrary to popular belief, self-compassion is not a form of self-pity or self-denial.

You will not lose your motivation to improve nor fall into the habit of making excuses for yourself.

Self-compassion = the practice of extending the same kindness, understanding, and support that you would give a loved one to yourself- especially when faced with personal shortcomings, failures, and difficult times.

Here are 4 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion and Be Kinder to Yourself.

1. Take the Judgement out of Zero Days

There are times when I’m on top of the world.

I go to the gym 2x a day, I stick to my salad and protein diet, I hit all my business goals days in advance, and I’m completely caught up with everything going on in my friends’ lives.

And then, there are times when I have back-to-back zero days.

I fall behind schedule, I’m slow with responding to emails, and my diet + gym routine becomes … less than great.

Most of the times, I’m somewhere in between the two.

The point here is that you’re not alone. We all have bad days every now and then.

Give yourself permission to have a zero day every once in a while without the harsh judgement and critical feedback.

You are not a machine and it happens to us all.  

2. Acknowledge the Little Things It’s an awful feeling to give your all and not get an ounce of appreciation for the work you’ve done from others.

So don’t do it to yourself too.

Acknowledge yourself for the little wins, the big wins, the way you handled a difficult situation, and everything in between.

Show yourself some appreciation for the daily things you do.

No matter how big or how small- everything you’ve done today counts.

3. “Forgive Yourself for Not Knowing What You Didn’t Know Before You Learned it”

I’ve made soo many mistakes in the past.

And I’m talking about everything, from “what were you thinking” choices in the dating department to losing thousands of dollars in business decisions gone wrong.

I would beat myself up with “if only I had only” and “how did I not see that” questions and would constantly think about how things could have turned out differently.

And I doubt I’m alone here.

It’s easy to hold on to mistakes and emotionally punish ourselves for the past.

But the fact of the matter is that we had to go through those experiences to learn what we know today.

Reflect, review, grow stronger, and move wiser.

Each experience built character and there was a reason behind them all.

4. Shift Your Mindset and Stop Starting Over

Have you ever been guilty of all-or-nothing thinking?

By this, I’m referring to thinking in extremes.

You are either succeeding or failing, there is no middle ground.

You hold yourself to the standard of making perfect progress and the slightest slip up means that you have to start over.

Here’s an example of how this pops up in my life:

I had one unplanned cheat day where I caved and ordered Domino’s.

After having that meal, I began thinking that I had to start my diet over on the following Monday.

Despite the fact that I had survived my kickboxing class that Wednesday, been to the gym 4x that week and stuck to my meal plan for every meal up to that point, I still felt like I had to start over.

In my mind, 1 (very delicious) cheesy bread and 1 missed night at the gym had voided everything I had done the week before and I needed to start fresh.

Sounds familiar?

What areas of your life have you been doing this in?

Over the next week, I challenge you to look out for where this all-or-nothing thinking shows up in your life.

I challenge you to stop starting over.

Having a few off days does not disqualify you from the race and making some minor mistakes does not void your previous progress.

Take a breath, gather yourself, and keep moving forward.

No matter how small, take the next step.

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Until next time.

- Jenine