It is said that we're often our own harshest critics, but we don't have to be! Just as mindfulness focuses on viewing our thoughts and feelings without judgment, self-compassion is about accepting ourselves--our flaws, failures, and shortcomings in all--with kindness and understanding.
In a study of self-compassion in classroom settings, researchers found that self-compassionate students showed more stable feelings of self-worth over time, while avoiding drawbacks like social comparison, public self-consciousness, anger, or closed-mindedness that can burden self-esteem seekers. Self-compassionate students were also motivated to learn and grow for intrinsic reasons--not because they wanted to garner social approval.
As you begin your own journey of self-compassion, remember that you are human--a descendent of a long line of mistake-makers--and that you need kindness, forgiveness, and encouragement. Don't be afraid to offer yourself a kind word, a hand on your shoulder, or a self-hug when things aren't going your way.
I'll leave on a quote from Mr. Rogers (always good policy) which you can read aloud to yourself:
“You've made this day a special day, by just your being you. There's no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.”
- Fred Rogers
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