I am often asked in my Coaching, how it is possible to practice self-compassion. Many people mix it up with self-esteem.
In contrast to self-esteem, self-compassion is an attitude of kindness and acceptance toward ourselves. Self-esteem has something to do with your accomplishments, it can raise and fall with our success and failure. Self-compassion is not based on self-evaluation or judgement in general. So how am I practicing self-compassion with my clients?
My response to the question of my clients is this:
Treat yourself as if you would treat a loved one-it includes respect, love, caring and curiosity for what is there. Giving permission to be human means to allow yourself to make mistakes- why would you allow it to others and not to yourself?
You would probably physically embrace a friend, who feels down and flaw, or you would hug or tap him/her. It might sound wearied, but why not giving yourself this little shoulder tap or anything which comforts you around you, to feel this warmth end empathy?
Another possibility, I let my clients practice releasing statements.
Some people have difficulties with self-affirmation, and even more having to practice them in front of a mirror. (even though I personally found it very helpful). But why not trying this instead: if you catch yourself judging or being harsh on yourself, just try to detach from the judgement behind. Instead of saying: you are such a horrible mother/friend/partner, you might want to say, it is okay for now to feel sad about this, I am human and having a human experience. This might release the pressure from your shoulders and has some forgiving in it leading to compassion for yourself.
Give yourself the benefit of a doubt. Try not to anticipate, who you are and how you react to something.
For example: I always get in a bad humour if my partner/my kids leave everything on the table. This precludes the possibility to act in a different way. Here you can discover something new about yourself not acting or feeling like always and feel compassion for yourself.
What has been most helpful for you to feel compassion for yourself?