Have you ever had a well-meaning friend or family member say something like “you’re being too hard on yourself” or “quit beating yourself up about it.” Well, what they’re trying to tell you is to practice self-compassion. As women, we tend to be extremely compassionate towards others who are struggling or going through tough times. Yet, we’re super hard on ourselves for even the slightest mistakes. Why is that? We know we should be kinder to ourselves and give ourselves some grace when things go wrong, but we don’t. Truthfully, it’s something that doesn’t come naturally to most of us. But, it’s time to change that.
It’s time for self-compassion.
It seems like every time I get on Instagram or Facebook I see a lot of #selfcare or #selflove floating around. However, they always seem to be attached to a photo of a woman pampering herself or going to the gym, or heck even drinking an adult beverage. That’s great, but what about those non-Instagrammable moments. You know the ones where you’re panicking in the car because you forgot to do something for work? Or when you’re ugly crying because you forgot to return an important email and are worried about upsetting someone you care about? Well, I’ve been there. And, I bet you have too.
We’re all humans and life is messy.
Everyone makes mistakes and does things they’re not proud of. People on social media seem to conveniently forget to show that side of themselves. But it’s there nonetheless.
We tell others, especially kids, that it’s okay to make mistakes and no one is perfect, yet we hold ourselves to unattainable standards of perfection. I know you may be thinking something like, “That’s awesome for other people, but I just have really high standards.” Or, “My expectations of myself are higher.” I hear that, and…it sounds a lot like perfectionism. Sorry to say it, sister.
I know you are successful. You are a powerful, strong, and highly motivated woman. I am really proud of you. But, that should not be an excuse to hold yourself to a standard that is unfair or unreasonable. Perhaps, that sounds like tough love. But, I need you to know that you are worth defending. You are worth advocating for. And, you are your own worst critic. That’s where self-compassion comes in.
- Having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness.
Self-compassion is not…
- An excuse to just flake out on your responsibilities
- Refusing to improve or adapt. Change is normal. You can be on a journey of self-improvement in a way that is harmonious with self-compassion as well.
Self-Compassion Takes Practice
I get that it’s easy to read about self-compassion. It sounds great in theory, but practicing it is something else entirely. That’s totally fair. But, if you close yourself off to the idea of practicing self-compassion then you’re bound to feel very upset every time you experience a bump in the road. And, that’s not great for your mental health.
So, take baby steps towards adopting this attitude. When you’re going through a tough time or made a mistake. I want you to stop and take a breath. Think about what you’d say or do if your friend came to you with similar struggles. Then, I want you to remind yourself that it’s okay to struggle. Validate how challenging the situation is. And ask yourself, “how can I care for myself in this moment?” That my dear, is self-compassion.
Making a shift to a mindset of self-compassion will not make you weak or lessen your tenacity. You can still be the go-getter and successful woman you’ve always been. Actually, self-compassion can enrich your life. The more you can accept that struggles, mistakes, and challenges are a part of life, the easier it is to make peace with that. Think about it like this, not being hyper-focused on the things that aren’t going well or the things you’ve done wrong frees up space in your mind for other things. Things that can potentially contribute to the success you already have. Things that can truly make you happy.
Start practicing self-compassion exercises
In my next post, you can read more about what practicing self-compassion really looks like. For now, however, getting started is simple. You could journal through a lens of self-compassion. This means to write down the distressing or embarrassing things that happened. Then, write how this made you feel without being too judgmental of yourself. For example, “I said something rude to my husband when I was frustrated at him for not doing the chores I asked him to do. Then, I felt guilty for not approaching him about it in a nicer way.” Next, I want you to think about and write down how your experience can be viewed in terms of common humanity. Like, “everyone gets frustrated sometimes, especially if they have a lot going on.” And, lastly, I want you to write something nice and kind about yourself. Reassure yourself that you’re not a terrible wife, mother, friend, employee, etc. “It’s alright to get angry with your coworkers. It’s frustrating when they don’t complete their work on-time. Next time, I will approach them about it in a kind and calm manner.”
Begin Counseling for Women in Miramar, FL or Start Online Therapy in Florida
If you want more support with healthy habits to support your mental and physical wellbeing, I would love to talk with you! As a therapist in Broward County, Florida, I specialize in working with high-achieving women who deal with anxiety, imposter syndrome, and so much more. Let’s get started, wherever you are in the state, with online therapy in Florida. All you have to do is follow these three steps:
Contact Counseling Solutions of Boward to schedule your free 20-minute consultation on a video platform,
Get to know me, Enid, your professional online counselor
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Other Therapy Services Offered at Counseling Solutions of Broward
In addition to providing online therapy in Florida, including codependency treatment for women, Enid De Jesus offers a variety of mental health services at her counseling clinic in Broward County, FL. Her goal is to create lasting transformative change and growth in your life. So, she offers anxiety treatment, depression treatment, counseling for imposter syndrome, after divorce counseling, and relationship counseling for one. For more information on counseling, please check out her what to expect page or contact her counseling office.