Why We Need to Practice Self-Compassion

This five-minute video offers an easy self-compassion practice for moments when we’re feeling critical of ourselves.

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In the frantic pace of life, it can be difficult to keep up—and sometimes when we make mistakes or we feel we don’t work hard enough, we leave ourselves in the dust by thinking things like “you’re not good enough.” If we’re not careful, a few harsh words here and there can evolve into excessive self-criticism.

This short animation from the London School of Life suggests another way to approach those negative storylines we jog through our minds, as well as the real setbacks we face—like adopting a kinder mindset toward ourselves when we fail, accepting our personal histories that we cannot change, and understanding that our worth is not only contingent on our achievements.

An Easy Self-Compassion Practice

Step 1: When you find yourself in a cycle of negative self-talk because you have failed at something or are disappointed with an outcome, remind yourself that the task was difficult and that you did your best.

Step 2: Remind yourself that you don’t have to be good at everything. Not everyone has the same set of skills.

Step 3: Remember that comparing yourself to others can be painful—especially if their successes are all over social media. Thank yourself for your progress and embrace where you are now.

Step 4: It’s okay to feel lucky. Successful outcomes are sometimes based on luck. If something has failed, oftentimes we could not have entirely controlled the outcome so we are not entirely to blame.

Step 5: Your worth is not dependant on external things. You are not only your achievements. Rehearse the internalized voices of all those who have been kind to you, independent of achievement.

Step 6: Take time for yourself and don’t underestimate rest.

Mindfulness allows us to see how we respond to ourselves, and work toward a bond that’s healthier and happier. Take a few minutes and try this practice: 5 Steps to a Better Relationships with Yourself from Mindful magazine.

This article was first published on March 11, 2016.

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