Why You Need to Ask for More Self-Compassion

flourish life you love live powerfully mind body connection selfcompassion May 26, 2022
Why You Need to Ask for More Self-Compassion

It might seem strange, or even inappropriate to ask for more of what we want in a world that’s facing great challenges, insecurity, and scarcity. But the evidence shows us by focusing on what we want more of, rather than what we want less of - the more likely we are to get it.

So instead of focusing on having less anxiety, unhappiness, ill health, or dissatisfaction, focus on having more calmness, confidence, health, happiness, vitality and life satisfaction, and you’re much more likely to get it.

If you’re not sure what your core needs are, there’s a list of the most common needs to help you identify yours in this blog.

This week, the focus is on self-compassion.

What is Self-Compassion?

Most research scientists view compassion as a motivation rather than an emotion.

If we measured your brain activity while you were feeling compassionate, parts of your motor cortex (it generates signals to direct your movement) would light up. Compassion can therefore be more powerful than empathy or sympathy because it fuels you up for action to make change. The origins of the word compassion come from the alleviation of suffering.

3 Components of Self-Compassion

Kirsten Neff has researched self-compassion and created a leading self-compassion mindfulness training.

She highlights three components that enable self-compassion to happen:

  1. Self-kindness versus self-judgment

We all have an inner critic and mine was my reason for becoming interested in, and a follower of self-compassion as a practice. My inner critic used to be so vocal, so believable, and so authoritative that it hugely impacted my life, but I felt that was just the way it was. However, I discovered it could change and although it took commitment, it was relatively easy.

When your inner critic is being judgemental, ask yourself ‘how would I treat the person I love most in the world right now?’. The answer enables you to start practising self-kindness. It sounds like a cliché but it’s often the simplest ideas implemented that facilitate change.

  1. Common humanity versus isolation

When people aren’t practising self-compassion, they can feel isolated or hidden away and shame can start to develop. Kirsten Neff’s research showed that by recognising that there are many other people experiencing similar feelings to us, we can move from isolation to common humanity.  

That connection helps to give it a voice and helps to move us towards more self-compassion. Brene Brown’s research on shame has found that shame loses its power when it’s no longer hidden.

  1. Mindfulness versus over-identification

Over-identification is being hypervigilant about your feelings. Analysing how you’re feeling, the situation you’re in, how people have treated you, the story you’re telling yourself in your head about what it means about you as a person and how it affects your self-esteem.

Whereas mindfulness is an awareness of what’s going on, it’s more from a state of curiosity or observation which supports acceptance and stops struggle. The sooner you reach peaceful acceptance around a situation, the sooner you can change and to do something about it.

Reflect on Your Self-Compassion

Self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness are the three areas I encourage you to look at this week. Self-compassion takes practise so please give yourself that gift and start to ask for more of what you want. If you need more support with this, book a free discovery call and find out how I can help you.

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