"Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others." - Christopher Germer
Many of us believe that being critical of ourselves and harsh on ourselves is a positive trait. We should not mistake self-compassion with self-pity, complacency, or hubris. It entails accepting your suffering, flaws, and mistakes and responding with kindness, caring, and understanding without judging yourself. It's talking to yourself and treating yourself like a friend. It's accepting your flaws and mistakes as a natural part of being human. Finding a good balance between self-acceptance and striving for self-improvement is essential to practicing self-compassion. You adopt a loving but realistic picture of your experience rather than scolding yourself for making that mistake or drowning in pity when things don't go your way.
If you think you lack somewhere on the grounds of self-compassion, professionals like NLP trainers, life coaches, and therapists can help you understand how to attain it.
What is compassion?
According to the Dalai Lama, true compassion is not just an emotional response, but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively.
How does compassion contribute to growth?
When people make errors, compassion implies treating them with respect and understanding rather than harshly criticizing them. Compassion goes beyond pity and is based on the understanding that imperfection is a part of the human experience. Compassion for oneself is comparable to compassion for others.
People with high self-compassion exhibit three characteristics: first, they are kind rather than judgmental about their failures and mistakes; second, they recognize that failures are a common human experience; and third, when they stumble or fall short, they take a balanced approach to negative emotions—they allow themselves to feel bad, but they don't let negative emotions take control.
Components of self-compassion
Three essential components of self-compassion practice inculcated through programs such as NLP training can be:
Self-kindness: Instead of ignoring the pain and responding with self-criticism, we should allow ourselves to be warm and empathetic when we feel inadequate.
Humanity as a whole: Humans suffer and experience pain, and it is something that we all go through and share. It's a communal rather than solitary experience.
Mindfulness: Negative emotions are approached without judgmental preconceptions, resulting in feelings that are neither minimized nor exaggerated.
How To Learn Self-Compassion?
An NLP trainer and NLP practitioner play an essential role in understanding what Self-compassion is and how to develop Self-compassion in an individual and in an organizational setup. Compassion for others is vital to our culture. Supporting friends, being kind to others, and helping someone in need is great, but we tend to treat ourselves to a completely different standard. Self-criticism and shame teach and encourage self-motivation. We scold ourselves thinking that it will help us improve and avoid repeating the same mistakes. Similarly, if we are not able to perform a task correctly in the workplace or if we have a dispute with any of our colleagues, many times we tend to blame ourselves and our abilities.
However, research shows that self-criticism only hinders us and leads to different mental health outcomes.
Many organizations take up NLP training to develop self-compassion in the organizational set-up and its employees. An NLP trainer and NLP practitioner are employed and are responsible for various activities to build Self-compassion.
Let us understand with an example. Your friend comes to you with his problems at the workplace and says that he feels like a failure. In this scenario, you wouldn't let him talk about himself like that, instead, stop him and help him find solutions as we all know NLP presuppositions, “We have all the resources available with us at every given point in time”.
However, when you have the same conversation with yourself, you might not be as calm and gentle with yourself as you were with your friend.
Here is when the role of self-compassion comes into the picture.
Now let's understand the process with some steps/strategies.
Strategies to increase self-compassion
Self-compassion is a skill anyone can learn by working with a therapist or on their own. Some strategies to increase your compassion are:
Consider how you'd treat someone else: Imagine what you'd do if someone you cared about came to you after failing, getting rejected, or any upsetting situation you find yourself in. What would you say to them? What understanding and caring advice would you give them?
Notice the inner dialogue: You may become so used to harsh criticism and self-judgment that you don't even realize you're doing it. Pay special attention to the words you use when speaking to yourself. Would you like to talk to someone who cares about the way you talk to yourself? Comfort yourself with gestures. A friendly body gesture activates the calming parasympathetic nervous system, immediately soothing the body.
Hugging yourself or holding hands can also take you to the present moment in your body and get rid of negative chatter in your head.
Speak compassionate affirmations: Have a few phrases ready if you judge or criticize yourself. Confront negative thoughts with sympathetic expressions addressed to you. Affirmations must be strong, positive, personal, and believable. Combining positive self-talk with physical gestures, such as putting your hand on your heart, can increase your influence.
Practice guided meditation: Over time, meditation can retrain your brain and rewire your brain, making self-compassion and self-soothing more natural. You can find some self-compassion meditations here. The practice of imperfection: Turn your attention away from this subtle form of resistance and practice compassion whenever you find yourself using self-compassion to get out of suffering or to become a “better person” because we are all imperfect people with imperfect lives. And life is hard. In other words, learn to be a “compassionate mess.” "What do I need now?" Allow moments of compassion for yourself, even if you cannot find the answer or meet your needs now. You can also try the Mindfulness Practitioner app by Dr. Paras to practice mindful meditation daily.
Benefits Of Self-Compassion
Self-compassion provides a variety of benefits, including fewer depressive and more optimistic thoughts, overall increased pleasure, and life satisfaction, improved social and emotional skills and improved physical health, according to research. The NLP training programs are undertaken in various organizations due to multiple benefits of developing self-compassion in employees, and thus, an NLP practitioner plays an important role. The following are some of the good impacts that studies have found:
- It boosts motivation
- It makes you happier
- It boosts one's self-esteem
- It boosts self-esteem
- It encourages resiliency
Anxiety, despair, and stress are among the mental health issues that it helps to alleviate.
Self-compassion is not challenging to cultivate. It's a skill that can be honed through time. Self-compassion helps us evolve ourselves and helps us focus on our overall development. It helps us to excel in our professional lives as well.
For the analytically inclined, we recommend employing a three-point checklist based on psychologists' concept of self-compassion: Is it possible that I'm being kind and understanding towards self? Do I recognize my flaws and failures as universal experiences? Am I able to keep my negative emotions in check?
If it doesn't work, try this simple "trick": Sit down and compose a letter to yourself in the third person, as if you were writing to a friend or loved one. Many of us are better at being good friends to others than we are to ourselves, so this can help prevent defensiveness or self-flagellation spirals.
In recent years, the business world has done an excellent job of de-stigmatizing failure at the organizational level—failure is a natural outcome of experimentation and, eventually, invention.
However, far too many of us are failing to see the restorative value of failure in our own professional life. This talent will grow vital as more industries are disrupted and people's work lives are thrown into disarray.
If you find yourself being too judgmental of your failures and want to be kinder to yourself, get in touch with the Matrrix team and enroll for various program such as Life Leadership Coaching, Mindfulness Practitioner ® and understand the art of self-compassion today.