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Developing Self-Compassion

How To Practice Self-Compassion When You Feel Like a Failure

October 2, 2020

I’m Kavita
A Jungian Business and Success coach, a highly-sensitive woman and an empath. A mother of two beautiful boys, and a serial entrepreneur.
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Do you consider yourself a compassionate person? How about self-compassionate? If you aren’t sure how to practice self-compassion, keep reading. Negative self-talk can genuinely get in the way of living your abundant, purposeful life. I am willing to bet that the things you say to yourself, you wouldn’t say to your worst enemy.  Although words are powerful, how you treat yourself is just as important. According to WikipediaSelf-compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. Kristin Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main components – self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.[1]

Self-compassion is difficult on a daily basis and even more challenging when you feel like a failure.

Instead, of the negative self-talk and mistreatment of yourself,  it is essential to practice self-compassion.  You may be wondering: Why is self-compassion so hard? and how do you practice it? Especially when you feel like a failure. Why is it important?

Self-compassion for HSP’s and Empaths

The world is not designed for you if you are an HSP or Empath. It is intended for the majority of the population or the other 80%. When you live in an environment that is not a fit for your temperament, then it is easy to judge yourself harshly. You have a higher likelihood of feeling like a failure.

Learning how to practice self-compassion is a crucial part of living a joyful life and thriving in the world.

Why is Self-Compassion so Hard?

Comparison is a natural part of the human condition, yet when we compare ourselves to people that are different, it easy to feel like there is something wrong with you. The standards that we hold ourselves to by looking outward, may not fit who we are, and our unique strengths. Our tendency to compare can be a useful tool.

If you comparing yourself to others is a challenge for you, please check out my Vlog on using comparison to your advantage: Click here to watch.

Comparison to others can lead to so much pain and discomfort. When we compare ourselves to others many issues arise such as a lack of motivation and seeing ourselves as less worthy of love. Which can result in a lack of compassion for ourselves.

I want to remind you that we are all our unique beings, with our own strengths and talents, which we take with a unique set of circumstances. When we compare ourselves to others, it is inaccurate because we only see part of the picture and because “They are not us!”

Another form of comparison that impacts our ability to be self-compassionate is measuring ourselves to the standard of where we thought we “should” be by now. Feeling that you should be somewhere else or farther along by now, or that you thought you would be, is not helpful. Instead, recognize where you are and how far you have come.  Ask yourself how you came up with this standard of where you “should” be before you beat yourself up for not being there yet.

Take a moment and ask yourself, why do you feel like a failure? What is triggering your negative self-talk or other behaviors that are not compassionate? Where did the standards of what a successful person is come from? Does that match who you are, and what you really want in your life?

Hopefully, you are starting to see why self-compassion is difficult, and you want to treat yourself better.

How Can I Improve my Self-Compassion Skills?

The first step is to look at where your beliefs come from and check in to what you really believe, as well as what you truly want. Acknowledge that you aren’t perfect, although I want to emphasize that there is nothing wrong with you. Perfection is an illusion, as human beings, we are designed to learn and grow and in order to do that, we must make mistakes. Our mistakes are proof that we are living and taking chances. Our mistakes make use grow.

After you recognize what beliefs are impacting your ability to be self-compassionate, the next step is to ask yourself what you would say to a loved one. Specifically, what you would say to them if they were treating or speaking to themselves the way you have been.   If someone you loved, or even a child, told you that they can’t be self-compassionate because they haven’t accomplished everything they thought they would by now, what would you tell them? Most likely not what you are saying to yourself.

Nest, look at what is going well. What is it that you have accomplished? What are your unique strengths? How do you show up in your life? Really take some time with this one, inquire and write it down. Once you have it written down, take it in. How do you feel now?

What Are Some Practical Suggestions for Self-Compassion?

Now that you have seen what is going well and all the ways that you contribute in the world, it is time to show yourself compassion. It is important to treat yourself with the same love and respect that you show to those you love. A bonus is that how you treat yourself shows others how you want to be treated, or on the flipside what you are willing to put up with.

As your own worst critic it is vital to show self-compassion through taking time off, doing things you love, and acknowledging all that you have accomplished/contributed.

If you aren’t sure where to start, think about what you would recommend to your friends and loved ones? What do you wish they would do more for themselves? This is a great place to give yourself permission for self-compassion.

If you feel like a failure, you are stuck in a negative mindset and spiral. The thoughts and things you tell yourself you would not say to anyone else. Take some time and step back, acknowledge your imperfections with the understanding that there is nothing wrong with you. Take some time to see what is working, what you have accomplished, and how you show up in the world. Treat yourself with the same respect you would treat a loved one. If you don’t, who will? For more tips on practicing and developing self-compassion click here.

If you need help in learning to love yourself, apply for a complimentary 30-minute clarity session below.

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