What is self-compassion?
Who is the only person available at all times to give yourself care and kindness no matter what?
Look in the mirror to find the answer.
What is Self-Compassion?
- The ideas of self-compassion emerged out of the Buddhist tradition.
- It first entered greater cultural awareness through Kristin Neff’s 2003 book, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.
- Self-compassion is still mostly limited to academic circles though the ideas have started to circulate in wellness and personal development spheres.
You should treat yourself just like you would treat a friend.
3 Foundational Parts of Self-Compassion
- Be gentle with yourself
- Common Humanity
- All humans share similar experiences – you are not alone in your mistakes and your feelings
- Be present and process your feelings in the moment so you can release them
Self-compassion is the best way to be the most complete version of yourself once you develop a daily practice.
Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
Take a deeper look at self-compassion through the Imperfectly Perfect Self-Compassion Challenge at https://www.inspiringselfcompassion.com/challenge
Next Week Sneak Peek
Self-Compassion during the COVID 19 Crisis
Episode 1: What is Self-Compassion? Transcription
Sarah McLain: Hello, I’m gonna open this episode with a question for you.
Who is the only person available at all times to give yourself care and kindness no matter what else is going on.
All you have to do is look in the mirror to find the answer.
You’re the best person to deal with, giving yourself the care and kindness that you deserve. And I mean the word deserve very, very literally.
This episode is sponsored by the Imperfectly Perfect 5 Day Self-Compassion Challenge, where you can discover self-compassion strategies that you can implement in less than 20 minutes a day. Find out more information at https://www.inspiringselfcompassion.com/challenge.
Are you sick and tired of all the negative self-criticism that creeps into your brain at the worst possible time?
Stop me if you’ve ever said or thought this before . . . “I’m not good enough. I’m going to be a failure. This has to be perfect.”
All you really want is a proven way to quiet that tiny little voice so you can move forward in your business – easier said than done, right?
Research has shown that there is one particular mindset shift that overcomes perfectionism, fear, failure, an imposter syndrome while increasing personal motivation, positivity and overall growth.
I’m speaking of the unlimited power of self-compassion when it comes to your mindset and your self-confidence in your entrepreneurial path.
This is Inspiring Self-Compassion with Sarah McLain.
Let’s get into how self-compassion can change your life and your business.
Hi, and welcome to the inaugural weekly episode of Inspiring Self-Compassion.
I’m Sarah McLain, and self-compassion is absolutely my jam.
You can find the show notes for this episode at https://www.inspiringselfcompassion.com/episode1.
Today’s question that I’m answering is very, very basic.
What is self-compassion?
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to ask you . . . what do you think self-compassion is?
Do you think it’s self-care?
Do you think it’s self-pity?
Do you think it is self-love?
Well, the truth is, it’s actually not any of those things, though they are all part of it.
Born out of the Buddhist tradition, self-compassion is something that is only very recently come out into a wider cultural awareness.
An academic researcher named Kristen Neff wrote a book in the early 2000s, right around 2003, called Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of being Kind to Yourself and talked about her own journey with self-compassion and where it came from and and how it applies to the work that she does in an academic setting. And it has actually stayed in the academic world.
It is not still something that people know when you ask what self-compassion is.
So I wanted to take this time there to tell you what it is. Self-compassion is built on one central idea, and it’s this you should treat yourself just like you would treat a friend.
Would you actually tell a friend that they’re worthless?
Would you tell them that they’re not good enough?
Would you call them a failure?
I mean, if the answer to any of those is yes, then I’m going to guess you’re not a very good friend.
But the whole point is, is that you are not talking to yourself the way that you would talk to a friend.
There are three foundational parts to self-compassion.
The first, self-kindness, is all about taking that inner voice, that inner critic and their self-judgment, and telling them, “No, that’s not right. I am good enough. I deserve to be here. I deserve to do whatever I need to do. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to feel this way.”
It’s really just about finding ways to give yourself comfort in the hardest of moments.
It’s such a hard thing to do, though, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m so convinced that self-compassion is absolutely what we need more than anything else.
Because let’s face it, you’re probably not gonna let a friend talk to yourself the way you talk to yourself.
It’s about shifting that mindset and the way you think and talk about yourself.
It’s about thinking, “Hey, this idea failed, but I’m not a failure, and I’m gonna learn a lesson from it” instead of “I’m a failure.”
It’s about thinking, “You know what? I am good enough. I can teach this. People want to learn from me” rather than falling back on the fear that “I am not good enough to teach this.”
The truth is you don’t have to be an expert, you’re still good enough to teach it.
The second part common humanity really, really, really relies on reminding us that we are all human and everything that entails. It’s about removing that limiting belief that you’re all by yourself in your experience.
All you have to do is take a moment to scope out some Facebook groups and see what they’re saying about your limiting belief. Do you feel like you’re the only one that’s ever only had one person buy from your cart? Do you feel like you’re the only person that’s ever had a launch, a major major launch where only 2 people buy?
Well, you’re not. And that’s definitely the point.
For instance, if you look up the question, “does anyone else feel this way” in any kind of a group that is based around mindset or based around building a business or based around parenting? If you search that example, “does anyone else feel this way,” check to see what comes up.
I guarantee that the vast vast majority like 99% of the posts that you find with that particular phrase is followed by dozens or hundreds of commenters empathizing and sharing that yes, they feel the same way. They felt the same kind of shame and guilt when they couldn’t sell anything or when their child wouldn’t sleep.
This is what common humanity is all about.
It’s remembering that we’re all human, we all make mistakes and that it’s actually a very, very human thing, one that is part of just the common human experience.
The final piece, mindfulness, is usually associated with meditation practices, and I will say that meditation is can be a part of your self-compassion practice.
But as an overall piece of self-compassion, it’s more about giving yourself the space to be kind and to feel the pain when it comes to your feelings so you can process them and let them go in a healthy way.
How often do you pause to feel the suffering in pain that comes along with your negative feelings or your negative criticism?
How often do you allow yourself to really, really feel this pain of making a mistake, or you just try to rush forward and fix it Instead?
That’s the problem. We’re always trying to rush forward. We’re trying to paper it over rather than stopping just for a moment, even just thinking about why we’re feeling the way we are and just letting ourselves feel that emotion and then being able to let it go in a very, very healthy way.
So the next time you feel that self-doubt welling up inside you or think that you’re not enough of an expert, take a minute to feel the pain of those emotions and then use self-kindness. Be gentle to yourself.
Remember, it’s okay to feel those feelings. It’s okay to let them go.
So as you can tell from the three foundational parts of self-compassion, they are inextricably linked in myriad ways.
How can you be kind yourself if you’re not mindful of your feelings?
How can you be kind to yourself if you’re not aware of your peers and friends who have gone through the same thing as you?
If you want to find out more information about self-compassion, you can download my free self-compassion challenge at https://www.inspiringselfcompassion.com/challenge.
Throughout this episode, I have told you a little bit about the three parts of self-compassion:
How self-kindness is about being gentle to yourself and comforting yourself.
How common humanity is about the shared experiences we have in making mistakes and feeling badly in being human.
And then mindfulness, which is really all about being present and letting yourself feel those feelings and feel the pain and then giving yourself comfort in those times.
What I’ve talked about in this episode has been about starting to think about how you can develop a self-compassion practice because I believe wholeheartedly the making self-compassion a priority in your daily life is essential to being the best, most complete person you could be in all areas of your life.
I speak on this as somebody that has absolutely felt bad about my weight, about my confidence, about my business, about my mental health, about my physical health, about my relationships with toxic people in my life. And at the other end of it, I came out a stronger person.
And it’s all because of self-compassion, actively developing a daily practice and working on it until it becomes second nature to you.
So as a reminder, you can sign up for the Imperfectly Perfect 5 Day challenge at Inspiring self-compassion.com/challenge and you can check out our show notes with all these definitions at https://www.inspiringselfcompassion.com/episode1.
Next Tuesday, I’ll pop into your podcast player with some tips and tricks about the elephant in the room. Let’s find out how people are dealing with self-compassion during a time of the CO-VID 19 virus crisis.
That wraps it up for today’s self-compassion podcast. Thank you for listening, and I’d love for you to subscribe in your podcast player so you don’t miss any Tuesday self-compassion strategy tips.
Now that you’ve learned something new, it’s time to go out and practice self-compassion so that you can grow your business. Have a lovely week!