“Be kind, caring and courageous toward yourself.” That’s the message from Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron. And it’s a message that resonates with me. As a high achiever, I know all too well how easy it is to beat myself up when things don’t go as planned or I do something wrong. In my experience, these feelings come from a place of resistance that will hold me back from success if left unchecked. I become more judgmental and more critical when I don’t practice patience and self-compassion. I fell out of alignment. But through my experience in mindfulness and meditation practices, I’ve also come to appreciate just how important self-compassion can be to achieving your goals and living more fully.
Our Expectations of Self-Care
We see it all the time on social media: Pretty aesthetic photos of vacations, massages, pedicures, and the like. And yes, those things can be great acts of self-care. But the truth is, a self-care journey doesn’t always look like gearing up for hot girl summer or becoming the main character in a rom-com fantasy. It’s not all avocado toast and charcuterie boards with mimosas paired with sundresses and picnics. Without having compassion and patience for yourself on the inside and releasing the guilt and hurt that your inner-child carries, nothing else is going to really work. At least in a sustainable way long-term. The self-care / self-love journey can actually look like a serial-killer documentary some days. It’s not fun, and it’s not pretty, but you’re healing. That’s the real work.
Being Nice to Yourself
If you were with your best friend and you weren’t being nice to them or treating them with politeness and basic human decency, you would as if you really care and love them as a person, right? So why don’t we do that to ourselves? If you aren’t giving yourself that space to nurture and shower ourselves with love, then we don’t have a space to grow. Here are some of my favorite things to reflect on to make sure I’m being nice to myself:
- How am I treating myself when I fail?
- How am I reacting when I make mistakes?
- Do I give myself grace when I am adjusting to new changes?
I’ve found a correlation between compassion and celebrating. When I’m not compassionate with myself, chances are I’m not taking the time to even celebrate my wins. Or if I am trying, it’s pretty hard for me to want to. To date, I still feel like I’m trying to practice how to celebrate the small wins day to day. When you have a chance, reflect on these questions:
- How are you celebrating your wins?
- How are you rewarding yourself for completed progress?
I encourage you to do just as good of a job in celebrating the wins as you are celebrating the failures. Because here’s the reality: When you are celebrating the failure, that is allowing you the opportunity to move forward much faster.
Being compassionate and patient with yourself will open yourself up for even better connection and relationships with those around you. You’ll be taking care of yourself even better emotionally by working through all of the healing from the inside. Need some help breaking through the barriers? Schedule a free strategy session with our team to see how we can overcome them together.