Compassion for others is perceived as an incredibly admirable quality that demonstrates empathy but for some reason it seems as though many of us are less concerned with self-compassion. Self-compassion is when you express the same amount of support and understanding towards yourself in the same way that you would a friend, family member, or loved one. Those who practice self-compassion have consistently demonstrated a correlation to psychological well-being, emotional intelligence, social connectedness, and higher satisfaction with their lives. When practiced we experience lower anxiety, shame, depression, and fear of failure. It is also essential in determining our independence, self-worth, and the confidence that we have within ourselves and our abilities.
Every relationship requires you to demonstrate some level of forgiveness and the relationship with yourself is no different. Punishing yourself for your mistakes does not help you learn or grow. It is essential to be gentle with yourself and accept that you aren’t perfect when faced with your shortcomings.
When you question your worth or how good of a person you are based on a mistake that you made, consider your loved ones. Your friends and family value you in ways that you likely can’t even begin to understand, and that is because of the person you are— flaws and all.
Being mindful during the times that you are generating your sense of self-worth from an idea of perfection can help you to understand that you don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love.
Focus on Growth
Shifting your energy to a growth mindset can significantly impact happiness and influence your ability to forgive yourself for mistakes. Those who are focused on growing and learning, rather than becoming a flawless or perfect person, understand that mistakes and shortcomings are essential for growth. You know how you hear all those personal trainers speak about “progress, not perfection”, they aren’t spewing fluff. That mindset is incredibly important.
Instead of avoiding challenges or criticizing yourself step back from the situation and figure out what you can take from it.
Gratitude is both an immensely powerful emotion and an essential practice, affecting your ability to demonstrate self-compassion. Expressing gratitude for challenging moments you face help you recognize your experiences' value. By valuing your experiences, including your mistakes and flawed moments, you are more likely to forgive yourself because you know there is still a lesson that can be learned or something else that you can take away from the situation. Whether it is something that helps you become a better person or gives you a new perspective, expressing gratitude empowers you to make something good out of something that is challenging or difficult to deal with.
Change Your Mindset
Many of us have been conditioned to be incredibly hard on ourselves— a mindset that comes from pushing ourselves towards success or making sure that we put others before ourselves and our feelings. We often view self-compassion as weakness because we are giving in to our emotions. Self-compassion is about recognizing that you are, without any doubt, going to make mistakes throughout your life and allowing space to forgive and show yourself kindness to move on and grow. yourself kindness to move on and grow.