As a woman, there is so much pressure to be “perfect.” To have perfect bodies, dress in the most fashionable clothes, be the best friend, best daughter, sister, wife, mom, partner, have a great job, a home that looks like it came from a Pinterest board, a cute car, and to never reveal to others any of our flaws or make any mistakes. We are in a society where we are constantly striving to do and be better than everyone else and vulnerability is perceived as weakness. Perfectionism leads to a lot of self-criticism and negative self-talk. Trying to do everything right is exhausting and not to mention impossible. What we need to strive for is self-compassion.
Self-compassion is about loving yourself for who you are without feeling the need to compete and be better than anyone else. It is about knowing yourself, flaws and all, and accepting your story. We’re all familiar with the term self-esteem which is linked to this idea of perfectionism, narcissism, self-absorption, and so on. But, self-compassion provides the same benefits of high self-esteem without all the negatives. I want to share with you the components of self-compassion.
Three components of self-compassion:
- Self- kindness v. self-judgment- Turn towards our self with love, kindness, and care like we would towards a best friend.
- Common humanity- Connecting to others with love and kindness. The idea that as humans, we are all in this together, we all suffer and we all struggle. We can’t love others more than we love ourselves. Every single person is deserving of compassion.
- Mindfulness- Being present, paying attention, being aware, non-judgmental. To take a balanced approach to negative emotions so that feelings are neither exaggerated nor suppressed.
To start practicing self-compassion pay attention to the messages you are telling yourself. We all have a running dialogue in our head that has an opinion about everything we are going through. Start listening to it. What does it say when you make a mistake? This is where you come in and give yourself the compassion you deserve. Acknowledge that you are human and humans make mistakes. It is a ridiculous idea to think we would go through life without any hardship and sometimes we need to give ourselves the compassion to say we need help from others! If you are the type of person that doesn’t like talking to others about your problems, I would challenge you to open up to someone close and see how much better you feel afterwards.
I want to leave you with a quote. “Recognize your worth is great, your talents are worthy of expression, that your fulfillment is as important as anyone else’s and that your best self is the greatest gift you have to give the world.” I remember writing down this quote maybe 6 months ago and I just ran across the post it while cleaning out the desk in my office. I don’t remember where I got it from or who wrote it, but it’s a great reminder to love ourselves!
Here’s a link to a self-compassion test. I encourage you to take it and see how you score.
I hope you all have a great week!