We have heard this word quite often but do we really know or understand the exact meaning of this word ‘Compassion’. It is good to begin with the definition so that we can delve into it as we try to develop self-compassion.
As per dictionary.com, Compassion is a “feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering”. In short form, it can be said that the compassion means “to feel with….” For most of us, it’s easy to understand or ignore or forgive or be caring towards others rather than ourselves. Interestingly, if we work on developing the self-compassion it will also help us to remain compassionate towards others and perform better in life. It’s almost like, when we nurture and focus on the roots of the plant its flowers, leaves, branches, stem, and fruits will also grow well.
So how can we learn to be kind to ourselves? First of all, taking out some time and indulging in positive but realistic self-talk, such as:
- Acknowledging that you are a human. Despite extensive education, experience or maturity there is always a possibility for error because success is the result of a calculated combination of multiple factors, not just you or your performance.
- To counterargue some perceived or real failure, think about your successes in chronological order. Don’t be shy or underrate your performances and successes.
- Take responsibility for your actions, accept it but also think over why did it happen? Were you stressed out? Were you burnt out? Did you receive help on time? Did you receive expected support from team/management/family/friends? Did you take on some work which was beyond your competency? By digging deeper, you will be able to realize that you focused more on the goal, not on yourself!
- Make a list of your strengths and good qualities. Embrace and enjoy reading this list. Now ask yourself what am I doing to upgrade and polish myself?
- If you still feel low about yourself, look for real-life examples when you displayed those qualities/strengths at an extraordinary level. Feel proud of yourself and plan how will you take care of yourself so that goodness in you do not die.
- Make a list of activities which you always wanted to do but couldn’t do. Categorize these activities or dreams into short-term goals or long-term goals. Plan, how will you get closer to your dream.
- At home, pick one wall or corner which should display your rewards, letters of appreciation, certificates, prizes, pictures of any accomplishment (such as completed project) and notes of gratitude or praise conveyed by others to you. Look at them, feel proud of yourself and fall in love with yourself J
This is just a small list. There could be many more ways to develop self-compassion depending on one’s creativity and perspective.
At the same time, you may also feel some mental blocks to value, respect and care for yourself. You may find yourself questioning too. If so happened, please feel free to explore deeper with a psychotherapist like me. You and I will sit together and look into the possible causes of you finding it hard to develop self-compassion and self-love.
Please feel free to reach me at 604-377-6033 or firstname.lastname@example.org
-By Rhea Jacobs