Self-compassion is the act of giving yourself compassion or grace, particularly in situations where there is the perception of inadequacy, failure, or suffering. Generating self-compassion can be challenging, but it is not impossible. There are steps that can be taken to help you develop self-compassion so you can be more gracious with yourself in life.
Self-acceptance involves embracing your own perceived weaknesses in conjunction with your strengths. When you can engage in the practice of seeing yourself as a whole person with strengths and weaknesses, versus overly focusing on the weaknesses, you are more likely to practice self-compassion. The act of understanding that you are not the sum of your flaws, but rather a conjunction of your strengths and weaknesses combined helps you embrace yourself and give yourself grace.
Criticism does not have to be a bad thing. In some instances, critiques can be healthy and a means of helping us learn and grow. However, too much criticism or an overemphasis on criticism can make self-compassion a challenge.
When all we see are things, we need to improve it can make it hard to view ourselves more positively. Thus, taking measures to help us balance criticism with praise can be valuable. Whether that is removing ourselves from people who constantly critique, directly combating self-criticism, or being intentional about highlighting successes, these measures can all be effective ways of generating self-compassion.
Embrace Your Mistakes
Learning to embrace mistakes is key to developing a sense of self-compassion as well. Mistakes are unavoidable, so learning to cope with them helps you to be more resilient so that your mistakes don’t hold you hostage.
When you understand that mistakes are simply opportunities to learn and grow rather than a reflection of yourself, it is easier to give yourself grace and move on rather than letting the mistakes keep you from pursuing other opportunities.
Spending some time each day to think about what you are grateful for can help you develop self-compassion as well. Focusing on those things that you are grateful for about yourself and your life can shift your perspective drastically.
It is challenging to maintain an attitude of self-hate or self-critique when your view is focused on those things that you are proud of and grateful for. Highlighting just one or a few things each day can be a powerful means of embracing self-compassion.
Comparing yourself to others is a way people often work against self-compassion in their lives. When you look at others and compare their strengths to your own weaknesses or their successes to your own failures, it can be hard to see yourself as deserving of grace.
This is because comparison makes you look worse as compared to others and makes it seem as though you are less than someone else, meaning you may believe that they deserve compassion and you don’t. Refraining from the act of comparison can help you to focus primarily on yourself and thus become more likely to give yourself the grace and forgiveness you are worthy of.
In order to generate self-compassion, you must first know that you are worthy of it. Your mistakes and flaws don’t make you inadequate and less deserving of love. Thus, embrace the idea of your worthiness and work to implement strategies that will help you build resilience and be able to move forward in the face of mistakes and challenges. This strategy will help you to thrive and lead a more personally fulfilling life.