Having compassion is all about understanding, showing kindness, and a desire to help. Similar to last week’s blog post on positive self-talk, we’re connecting the person you are to others to the person you are to yourself. Look at it this way:
Ways we’re compassionate towards others:
- Being polite to others
- Being encouraging to others
- Being kind to others
- Giving your time to others
- Offering help to others
For many of us, extending compassion to others comes so much more easily than extending compassion to ourselves. We might not give it a second thought to thank others, but to thank ourselves is a struggle. When we’re young, we learn about the Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. When we get older, it’s a good reminder to ourselves to use the Golden Rule but to flip it: treat ourselves the way we treat others.
Ways we can be compassionate with ourselves:
- Being polite to yourself
- Being encouraging to yourself
- Being kind to yourself
- Giving time to yourself
- Seeking help for yourself
Let’s demonstrate how to put self-compassion into play: If part of being polite to others means saying, “thank you,” then using this expression towards yourself is, too! Being polite to yourself looks like thanking yourself for the dinner you just made. It’s thanking your body for taking you on a long walk. And it’s also thanking yourself for spending a little extra time in the shower. When we thank ourselves, we’re acknowledging a service or gift we’re giving to ourselves, which, in turn, leads to more self-compassion AND self-love!
Giving yourself encouragement leads to the same. When we’re faced with a task and we put ourselves down (“I can’t do this,” “This is too hard for me,” “I’m not smart enough for this,” etc.), we’re not giving ourselves enough credit AND we’re not providing the necessary fuel to keep moving forward. It’s like putting in diesel when your car takes premium- it’s not going to work.
Think about those last three points: “being kind to yourself,” “giving time to yourself,” and “seeking help for yourself.” How can you practice these as a way to be more self-compassionate?
Catherine at Revive