Five Self-Compassion Myths Exposed So You Can Stop Beating Yourself Up
“To have power, you must treat yourself with respect and compassion.”
Most of us would never tell our best friend, “Oh, you’re so stupid”, yet we may beat ourselves up with demeaning self-talk. The sad reality is that most people have never learned to treat themselves with the kindness and patience they have learned to bring to others.
In our current series we’ve been exploring the Seven Keys to Living a Balanced Life and they are all important. Yet as a spiritually inspired life coach you’ll want to focus on Key 4: Self-compassion and Key 1: Self Care, because they are foundational for helping your clients excel.
We all need to hear that we have permission to be good to ourselves. Giving your clients the key of self-compassion will empower them to be kind to themselves.
What is self-compassion? It’s your ability to treat yourself with kindness and understanding and being able to motivate yourself effectively to do what you decide to do. Hence, the skill of self-empathy is deeply related to issues of self-motivation.
Your self-compassion or self-empathy, or lack thereof, was no doubt largely established as a child. Most people have learned to have such a strong “inner critic” that they can’t stop beating themselves up and this makes the relationship among their sub-personalities harsh and judgmental.
Five common myths that prevent self-compassion:
1) “If I show self-compassion I’m being too self-indulgent.”
Not true! Self-indulgent means you get everything you want without thinking of the consequences, like eating a pound of chocolate because you’re stressed. This only numbs and denies your pain. Self-compassion, on the other hand, creates greater awareness of the pain and nurtures your health. So for example, when you know you’re stressed you take extra time for lunch, go for a walk, meditate or connect with a close friend.
2) “Self-compassion is for sissies.”
Absolutely not! It takes strength to be honest with yourself and admit your needs. You don’t have to tough it out to excel. Awareness of your strengths and limitations through self-compassion allows you to find wellsprings of strength that support you as you reach out past your comfort zone and accomplish wondrous things.
3) “Self-compassion is too scary because it makes me feel vulnerable.”
Surprisingly, the opposite is true. Letting people know your deepest feelings and needs can be frightening at first, but it’s also liberating, because it opens you up to love, forgiveness and acceptance without holding onto the outcome.
4) “Self-compassion will make me lazy. I won’t get anything done if I’m not hard on myself.”
False! You’ll accomplish more and do it better! Self-punishment stems from fear of failure, so you beat yourself up if you don’t feel like you succeeded, which only makes you feel more insecure. Perfectionism is a real enemy of self-compassion, which supports heartfelt motivation that tells you what you do is your best.
5) “Self-compassion will make me self-absorbed and narcissistic.”
Not at all! Instead self-compassion helps you to see yourself realistically in relation to the world and others. You see that suffering and failure is a universal experience. You’re no better and no worse than anyone else. You are enough.
A key to self-compassion is treating yourself as you would your best friend. Would you do that to you best friend? Would you say that to your best friend? Only when you give yourself unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance are you finally able to give that to others.
Being “present” or “grounded” is a way of describing your internal state where you’re are accepting and compassionate with all your sub-personalities. Although no one lives in this state, with practice you’ll be able to come back to it on purpose and more quickly!
If this information resonates with you and you’re ready to give your coaching clients more in depth support and education, learn more about our course – Life in Balance: The Seven Keys.
And don’t forget to download your free copy of “Why Spiritually Inspired Life Coaches have the best job, and how you can too!”