Critical Thoughts and Self-compassion
Insecurity often underlies critical thoughts and in our achievement-oriented world, it’s easy to feel as if we don’t measure up. If a core belief at the heart of critical thoughts is that we are “not good enough”, it could be that we’re using an unrealistic measure of our worth. If in our mind’s eye, we associate perfection with what we “should be” then we set ourselves up for disappointment. It’s fine to have goals and ambitions but we shouldn’t make self-acceptance dependent on them.
Self-compassion has more benefit than self-esteem because its focus is on kindness, patience and a realistic appraisal of our humanness rather than on achievement or performance. If we can feel seen and accepted for whom we are, in all our imperfection, then changing the “good enough” image is easier.
It might help to think of those in our lives it might benefit in addition to ourselves if we practice a little self-compassion. Family, friends, colleagues. It’s never too late to start. It might be a bit scary to allow others to see our authentic self, frailties and all. But it might also be well worth it.
Quick and Easy Mindfulness Practices
- On your way to work or to drop off kids, set an intention in your mind for the day. “I will help someone today.” “I will remember to breathe today.” “I will eat my lunch without working at the same time.”
- During your busy day, stop for a moment and really focus on something pleasing to your eye. Might be a photo of you kid. Or a budding tree outside your window. Hold it in your field of vision for at least two minutes. Look closely. Really pay attention to the details.
- At the end of your busy day before you fall asleep, call to mind one thing you’re grateful for. “I’m thankful this day is over” is ok.
Quote of the Day:
“Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance.”
-Tara Brach Radical Acceptance