What is self-compassion?

Self compassion 2

As women we’re SO hard on ourselves all the time. We ridicule ourselves for failing at a task, when we should be pumping ourselves up. We call ourselves names and endlessly berate ourselves for our mistakes, instead of figuring out why we messed up and how we can move on.

Intimately tied to our nagging negative voice is our level of self-compassion.

Well, what the heck is self compassion and why is it important for success?


Self-compassion has 3 elements:

  1. Self-kindness – “Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.”
  2. Common Humanity – “Frustration at not having things exactly as we want is often accompanied by an irrational but pervasive sense of isolation – as if “I” were the only person suffering or making mistakes”
  3. Mindfulness – “Self-compassion also requires taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated.  This equilibrated stance stems from the process of relating personal experiences to those of others who are also suffering, thus putting our own situation into a larger perspective”

Successful people tend to possess greater levels of self-compassion. They treat themselves better. They don’t dwell on their mistakes. They don’t allow their mistakes to cloud their judgement. Successful people can analyse their failures without wallowing in agony and self-doubt. 

Here is Dr. Kristin Neff discussing the 3 elements of self-compassion (6 minutes)

Here is her TED Talk on Self-compassion (19 minutes)


References:  http://self-compassion.org/the-three-elements-of-self-compassion-2/





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