Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

A Healthy Dose of Self-Compassion

I would suggest we all need a healthy dose of self-compassion.

via flicker, vvonstruen

With the start of a new year, many of us are focused on change. We are in a hurry to change our long-ingrained behaviors, and we are quick to berate ourselves when we fall short. Somehow we believe that being harsh with ourselves will motivate us to perform better.

Instead, I would suggest we all need a healthy dose of self-compassion. With this in mind, I have gathered the following quotes:

From Christopher Germer's book, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion:

"Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others."

"Self-compassion soothes the mind like a loving friend who's willing to listen to our difficulties without giving advice, until we can sort out our problems for ourselves."

From Kristin Neff's book, Self-Compassion:

"Self-compassion entails three core components. First, it requires self-kindness, that we be gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental. Second, it requires recognition of our common humanity, feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by our suffering. Third, it requires mindfulness-that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it. We must achieve and combine these three essential elements in order to be truly self-compassionate."

From Tara Brach's book, Radical Acceptance:

"Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance."

From Ruth Fishel's book, The Journey Within:

"It is a beautiful experience being with ourselves at a level of complete acceptance. When that begins to happen, when you give up resistance and needing to be perfect, a peace will come over you as you have never known."

From Rich Hanson's book, Just One Thing:

"You can have compassion for yourself-which is not self-pity. You're simply recognizing that 'this is tough, this hurts,' and bringing the same warmhearted wish for suffering to lessen or end that you would bring to any dear friend grappling with the same pain, upset, or challenges as you."

From Kelly McGonigal's book, The Willpower Instinct:

"Self-compassion-being supportive and kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure-is associated with more motivation and better self-control."

"We all have the tendency to believe self-doubt and self-criticism, but listening to this voice never gets us closer to our goals. Instead, try on the point of view of a mentor or good fiend who believes in you, wants the best for your, and will encourage you when you feel discouraged."

I am doing a year-long project on self-compassion. To follow along, go to my Facebook page. You can also follow me on Twitter.