We hear a lot about self-compassion these days and, for most, the concept is a foreign one. Just a generation or two ago, the mindset was that life was hard, extremely hard, and that was all there was to it. Men worked day and night, women tending to the family and home. Husbands and wives woke up to the sound of the rooster crowing and then went to sleep with the sun setting. They did this day in and day out with little or no time for themselves.
Myth Number One: Self-compassion is a Fad
Today, however, we are more self-aware than ever. Humanity is more evolved, we are conscious creators of our lives with an eye toward making differences in the lives of others, as well. Self-help and self-improvement have gone from being a luxury to being part of our daily routine.
One of the biggest myths, however, is viewing self-compassion as a buzz word or a fad. Much work is the field of personal development and psychology is showing the long-term benefits of self-compassion. When we take on the practice of self-compassion there are many benefits, but here are the most important two:
- Being compassionate to ourselves helps us feel better, work better, play better
- Being compassionate to ourselves in life’s daily moments helps us take the burden off expecting others to do it for us
Myth Number Two: Self-compassion is Selfish
For many people, doing things just for themselves, that make them happy, and that do not include others can feel selfish. This is far from the truth; when we do things for ourselves, we bring joy to ourselves. If you stop to take some time to journal throughout the day how many times you are hard on yourself, you would be surprised. When you take on the practice of self-compassion there are many benefits:
- A more positive, optimistic attitude
- Less bitterness, resentment, and angst
- You are more pleasant to be around and represent a role model for others
- A happier, more empathic mindset means a happier healthier mind, body, spirit
We take the burden off others to always be the ones who need to soothe us, nurture us, and take care of us. We all need others in our lives when life throws us a curve; however, daily, we can practice self-compassion to combat those negative thoughts in our heads.
We all have an inner critic and when we use the practice of self-compassion to challenge those thoughts, we are all the better for it.
Myth Number Three: Self-Compassion is only for Spiritual Folks
Self-compassion has nothing to do with being spiritual, religious, or new age. Self-compassion produces results. Imagine being in a meeting or part of a project and something goes awry (as things often do). Taking the time, energy, and most importantly the focus off yourself and onto troubleshooting and problem-solving changes the course of the project. Not only does it change the course, it changes the outcome.
Asking the inner critic a few questions helps improve your life:
- Is this helpful?
- Is this inner criticism a fact? Am I a mistake or did I simply make a mistake?
- Where can I learn and grow from this?
- How can I use this to rebound quickly and make a better decision?
As you can see, self-compassion comes from a logical place when we challenge that inner critic. Look and see where you can, in your life, challenge the inner critic, dispel these myths, and make a difference.