Steps to Self-compassion
If you were going on an extended road-trip with someone, you would want the relationship between the two of you to be healthy, supportive, and understanding. If that other person was critical, reactive, and judgmental, you would probably think twice before agreeing to be in a car with them for several hours at a time.
The journey of life, which we are all on, doesn't differ from the above scenario. Our traveling companion is often a relentless internal babble mouth reminding us of our shortcomings and failures and making every attempt to get us to give up.
The negative dialog in our heads can become so familiar to us; as water is to a fish, it goes unnoticed and unchallenged.
A key factor to challenging the babble mouth is to practice self-awareness and self-compassion; We cannot change what we are unaware of.
One way to gain more awareness is to journal.
Use the below journal prompts to help you develop awareness.
What are your thoughts about yourself?
What do you believe about yourself?
What are the lessons that your parents taught you about yourself?
What do you believe about your dreams coming true?
Re-read your response to each prompt and ask yourself the following questions
Is it true?
Is it helpful?
Is it inspiring?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?
Does it line up with what God says about you?
The second step in this challenge is to develop self-compassion. Self-compassion means being gentle, kind, and understanding with yourself; It means accepting that you are not perfect; It means and understanding that there is potential for learning and growth in every mistake you make (Neff, 2003).
Here are the benefits of self-compassion:
It facilitates coping in times of stress
It improves personal accountability.
It Enhances emotional well-being
It supports the act of caring for others.
After major life crises, it will help you to cope better.
It inspires healthier behaviors, such as less substance use and more physical activity.
Here are three other ways to develop self-compassion
We all make mistakes, so stop punishing yourself. When mistakes happen, apologize, repent and move on. Don't give in to blabbermouth's continuous rhetoric about what a horrible person you are for what you did or said.
When we don't forgive ourselves, we keep ourselves imprisoned in shame. Shame is an attack on our identity; it says we are bad; but that is not true. We sometimes make choices that have unwanted consequences, but we are not the sum of our past mistakes.
You can read more about shame here. https://www.roannarhodes.com/post/don-t-believe-everything-you-think
Practice a Growth Mindset
Once you become aware of your thoughts, determine if they are part of a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. A growth mindset believes that.
· We can learn and grow our skills.
· That failure is a valuable lesson.
It also embraces challenges instead of avoiding them.
When you hear the babble mouth in your mind criticizing you and negatively comparing you with others, instead of feeling threatened, try to draw inspiration from their successes and strengths.
When you are stuck in mental rumination, write down the story of what is happening. Next, write a letter to yourself from the perspective of an unconditionally loving friend. Think about how this friend knows all your strengths and weaknesses and loves you the way you are. Think about how this friend understands everything you have been through in your life history, your family dynamics, and circumstances that were out of your control.
What would your friend say to you that would show you compassion and love?
How would they show you compassion when they see that you are judging and criticizing yourself?
What changes would they suggest you make?
After you finish re-read the letter and, let the love and compassion of your friend pour into you. Accept the truth that you are worthy of love, forgiveness, and acceptance.
If you need help learning self-compassion, feel free to book a free 20-minute session with me. I would love to help you grow in this area.
See you next week