Self-Compassion – Being Your Own Best Friend
When you hear the word “friend”, what comes to mind for you?
What qualities does a good friend embody? Before you read any more, take a minute to pause and really think about what it means to be a good friend.
For me, the qualities I look for in a friend include (but are not limited to) the following…
- I can trust them
- they are honest with me and allow me to be honest with them
- they know how to listen well
- they have a good sense of humor
- they challenge me to be better
- they are there to lean on and are supportive in challenging times
- they give me the benefit of the doubt
- they are encouraging and want the best for me
Now, I want you to think about what kind of friend you are to yourself…
For most of us, we tend to be better friends to others than we are to ourselves. We expect things of ourselves that we would never expect of others, we make promises to ourselves and then don’t keep them (New Year resolutions are the perfect example of this), and we speak to ourselves in ways we would never speak to a friend.
I recently participated in an online workshop on self-compassion and the thing that stood out to me the most was how common it is for us to beat ourselves up with negative self-talk. For most of us, the voice in our head, at times, speaks to us in ways that we would never stand for if it were someone outside ourselves speaking to us that way. We can be really hard on ourselves.
As a recovering perfectionist and someone who is prone to anxiety, I am always on the lookout for ways to manage stress, so when I learned that the research shows that practicing self-compassion not only motivates people to overcome failure and to do better, but also helps reduce stress and anxiety, I knew that becoming a better friend to myself was something I needed to lean into. I’ve been practicing self-compassion for about 4 years now and here is what I am learning…
The first step is to set a self-compassion intention. My intention was to practice talking to myself like I would talk to someone I genuinely loved, admired, and believed was doing the best they could do in any given moment.
The second step is awareness. Pay attention to your self-talk, especially when you feel you’ve messed up in some way. Are you a critic or a cheerleader? Work on being mindful of the language that you default to during the stressful times in your life.
The third step is to practice compassion. Think of someone outside yourself that you love dearly…practice talking to yourself the way you would talk to them.
I am passionate about the topic of compassion because I think our modern lives would be exponentially better if we all practiced being more compassionate both to ourselves and others. Life is hard at times! believe in being the change I want to see in the world. I would love to see more compassion, so it is my goal to be more compassionate. We are all human, and part of the human experience is the fact that we are all imperfect. Let’s practice being kind to ourselves and kind to others. Just imagine the impact a more compassionate world would have… it’s mind blowing!!!
Who wants to join me?
If you know me, then you know that my life coaching workshops are all about teaching what I am practicing, so I have two events I’d like to invite you to…
The first one is Wholistic Woman’s full day retreat on March 3rd, outside Baltimore, Maryland, titled ’Be Creative’, where I will be leading a breakout session in which we will be making a self-compassion vision page. You can find details and registration information here…http://www.wholisticwomanretreats.com/events/be-creative-retreat/
Join us for the day or for the weekend. Either way I know you will walk away feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and inspired.
The 2nd event, ‘’Be Compassionate’, is on April 25th in Frederick, Maryland. During this interactive workshop, you will have the opportunity to experience a guided meditation on self-compassion, participate in a coach-led discussion on compassion, and you will walk away with strategies to put compassion to work in your life. For details on this event visit http://www.wholisticwomanretreats.com/events/compassionate-evening-retreat/
I hope to see you at one of these events!
Today’s author: Laura Hall, CPC, CDWF: As a certified professional coach since 2009, Laura Hall, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator has been helping people just like you make changes in. As a mother of 2 girls, Laura has a special interest in coaching parents, so if you still have children living at home, ask Laura about her Wholehearted Parenting programs. Laura can be reached via email at email@example.com or feel free to visit her website HallCoaching.com