Is being excessively competitive or too self-critical stopping you from reaching your goals?
Recent research shows that self-criticism actually makes us less resilient and less likely to learn important lessons from failure. Instead, in the face of adversity, self-criticism can make us more anxious and defensive, and can lead to isolation or unhealthy competition. The better alternative to self-criticism is self-compassion.
We’re learning that self-compassion is a way to improve your emotional well-being and help you achieve your goals. Self-compassion involves being as kind to yourself as you would to a friend or loved one, understanding that mistakes are a normal part of everyday life, and not getting stuck in the downward spiral of negative emotions that can come along with failure.
What if self-compassion does not come naturally to you? You’re not alone and you can learn it! The first step is to recognize how you respond to life’s challenges and failures. For example, how do you respond when you’ve overindulged at a special event?
Instead of beating yourself up, acknowledge your mistakes and any feelings of self-doubt or failure. Then let it all go. Recognize that any failures or perceived weaknesses from overindulging do not reflect your worth as a person, but are just a moment in time to be overcome. Ask yourself what you would tell a friend in your situation. Perhaps you’d tell her we all have those moments. Maybe you’d help him figure out what he’d do differently in the future. You’d let your friend know that one night of overeating does not make him or her a failure.
With self-compassion, you reach just as high for your goals. And, in the face of adversity, you’re better able to stay focused and work toward your goals. Be your own best friend.
Not sure how to practice self-compassion in your life? Your coach is always there for you.