“Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.” – unknown
That’s a quote I think I need to tell myself a little more often. I find it’s easier for me to be gentle with others…but it’s not so easy for me to be gentle with myself…
I don’t typically give myself a lot of credit for the things I accomplish each day…rather I’m a person who tends to beat herself up every day for not having accomplished more. For many years I’ve told myself its a good thing to be hard on myself because it would push me to work harder and harder and accomplish more and more. But over time I’ve begun to learn that while it’s good to push ourselves to do better it is also critical to learn to be gentle with ourselves too.
However, I’ve found that being gentle with ourselves is harder than it sounds. It’s easy to see our own flaws and know our own shortcomings…that seems to come naturally for me. But forgiving ourselves and giving ourselves credit for what all we do right…well that’s not as easy for me…especially because I don’t ever want to allow myself become complacent or stop working to improve.
In a New York Times Article titled, “Why You Should Stop Being So Hard On Yourself” it shares:
“Research shows that the No. 1 barrier to self-compassion is fear of being complacent and losing your edge,” Dr. Neff said. “And all the research shows that’s not true. It’s just the opposite,” meaning that self-compassion can lead to greater achievement than self-criticism ever could.
In fact, several studies have shown that self-compassion supports motivation and positive change. In a 2016 study researchers found that “self-compassion led to greater personal improvement, in part, through heightened acceptance,” and that focusing on self-compassion “spurs positive adjustment in the face of regrets.”
This is, of course, easier said than done. But core to self-compassion is to avoid getting caught up in our mistakes and obsessing about them until we degrade ourselves, and rather strive to let go of them so we can move onto the next productive action from a place of acceptance and clarity, according to experts. (end of excerpt)
Be gentle with yourself.
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )
Lack of self compassion is definitely one of my weaknesses. Unfortunately I was raised this way. It has hurt me more than it has motivated. When I discovered Dr. Neff’s website, it changed my life. I am also reading a book that she highly recommends: “The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions.”
Self discovery and self-actualization are so liberating!