Self-compassion is an important skill to have if you want to achieve more in life. I read an article titled “The Self-Compassion Solution” by Marina Krakovsky published in the Spring 2018 Special Edition of Scientific American Mind and I wanted to share what I learned with you. Self-compassion is defined as extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. I’ve spoken and written about self-compassion before, but in a different way than the article because I focused completely on self-talk – how us superachievers support ourselves rather than tear ourselves apart in the conversations we have in our heads (for some of us, out loud). I’ve also spoken about resilience quite a bit as it is one of the five focus areas for superachieving. Well, it turns out, further developing your self-compassion is great for building your resilience. Think about it, lovingly supporting yourself as you struggle through adversity or a particular challenge helps make you stronger.
In the article, Krakovsky shares some of Dr. Kristen Neff’s work on self-compassion. Dr. Neff did a Ted Talk on “The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion” which you can find by simply Googling her name. She’s also created a self-compassion assessment as well as many other resources located at Self-Compassion.org. I wanted to share some of the statements from the assessment with you so you can perhaps gauge where you lie on the self-compassion scale.
Some statements associated with high self-compassion are:
• I try to see my failings as part of the human condition.
• When I’m going through a very hard time, I try to keep my emotions in balance.
• I try to be understanding and patient towards those aspects of my personality that I don’t like.
Some statements associated with low self-compassion include:
• When I fail at something important to me, I become consumed by feelings of inadequacy.
• When I’m feeling down, I tend to feel like most other people are probably happier than me.
• I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies.
If you related to the first three statements, that’s great! Keep up the good work. If you related more to the latter three statements, Dr. Neff has even provided some exercises you can choose that work for you in developing your self-compassion. Some of them include thinking about how you would treat a friend, keeping a journal, taking a self-compassion break, and many more.
To take the assessment, go to Self-Compassion.org/test-how-self-compassionate-you-are/ and you can also find the exercises through a link on that page. Why not check it out today?