The story goes like this…
You’ve been trying to change something about yourself for years.
Maybe you’re trying to become a consistent exerciser or a person who gets up early.
Maybe you’re trying to be tidy and organized or more social and have more friends.
But every time you try, every time you set a goal and pursue it, you always end up giving up before you get to the finish line.
YOU MIGHT THINK YOU NEED MORE DISCIPLINE, WILLPOWER, OR SELF-CONTROL, BUT THE REALITY IS THERE’S A DIFFERENT PSYCHOLOGICAL INGREDIENT THAT YOU’RE PROBABLY MISSING…
And you’re able to learn what that is in this blog.
You’re going to learn exactly what that is and how to leverage it.
Prefer to learn on video? Watch here:
I’m Karin, your friendly neighborhood change psychology expert and PhD. Not only have I spent years researching the tools and tactics that we can use to change our behavior, but I’ve live tested the principles from research in my own life.
Let me tell you, this WORKS.
If you’re looking for self-help that comes from science for once, make sure you keep reading and sign up to get weekly change tips directly to your inbox HERE.
Let’s get straight to the point.
The psychological key to success is…
Before you click off this bog and brush me away, let me explain what self-compassion really means.
If I had to guess, your definition of self-compassion does not match what the science actually says.
Let’s start with what self-compassion is not:
Self-compassion is not letting yourself off the hook.
Self-compassion does not mean that every time you make a mistake, skip a habit or act out of alignment with your values… You simply brush it off and move on.
If you are ignoring the moments that you’re disappointed or frustrated with yourself and you’re simply moving on in the name of self-compassion – that my friend might be part of your problem.
The truth about self-compassion:
According to one of the most well-known experts in the field, Dr. Kristin Neff, self-compassion has three components.
3. Common humanity
Let’s dig into each one.
Mindfulness means you are not suppressing or exaggerating your feelings. So when you skip the gym and you wake up the next morning frustrated… Bulldozing past that frustration is not the compassionate choice.
Instead, when you are invoking mindfulness, you might take that moment to actually reflect on why you’re so frustrated even further.
In the moment where you start feeling the desire to skip the gym, you’d use mindfulness to pause, drop into your body and really sense into and feel your emotions.
Mindfulness is so powerful because it actually builds a heightened awareness of why you are acting the way you are.
So many of us are trying to change our behavior with little to no basic awareness of what is driving that behavior in the first place, and that is never going to create change.
Specifically self-kindness over self-judgment.
Let’s look at the word judge for a second. To judge means to form an opinion or conclusion about something. And if you’ve ever been judged, you know that their conclusion is missing some of the facts.
When we’re spending tons of time judging our own behavior, we’re making false assumptions or conclusions about our character or future success without looking at all the facts.
Instead, we want to choose self-kindness.
Self-kindness means pursuing understanding. You’ve probably heard tons of hyper successful people talk about how they embrace failure and learn from it.
That is impossible to do without a basic sense of self-kindness.
Failure is either something that stalls us or it’s something that propels us towards success and self-compassion makes the difference between which route it pushes us towards.
3. Common Humanity
Finally, the last component of self-compassion is common humanity. It’s when we have an understanding and acceptance of what it means to be human.
As humans, we cannot expect ourselves to study for eight hours straight. As humans, we cannot expect ourselves to achieve perfect adherence with all our habits.
Here’s the truth: If you are constantly frustrated because you’re failing to meet your own expectations, maybe it’s your expectations that are the problem, not your behavior.
At the very least, with the clients and members that I’ve personally worked with on behavior, it’s usually a combination of both.
This is where common humanity is an amazing filter for our expectations.
- “Is what I’m expecting of myself during this season the same thing I would expect from someone else under the same circumstances?”
If the answer is no, you are expecting way more of yourself than you would expect out of anyone else.
And my friend, it’s time to adjust.
Let’s Put This All Together Now
When we become mindful of our emotions, we’re able to make better adjustments in the moment and stay on the wagon.
When we embrace self-kindness over self-judgment, we’re able to actually learn from our failures, tolerate them better, and get back on the wagon.
And when we embrace common humanity, we’re less likely to get tossed off the wagon in the first place because we’ve set reasonable expectations, so it’s actually a safe place to be.
If you’ve ever told yourself you need less self-compassion, I’m here to tell you that it’s actually the opposite.
You need more now.
If you’re interested in learning more super applicable tactics for increasing your self-compassion, look no further than our Change Academy membership.
>> It’s less than the cost of one takeout order and gives you access to 24 amazing deep dive workshops on topics like self-compassion, procrastination, time management motivation, and more.
Join The Discussion:
Let me know in the comments how you are going to embrace a little bit more self-compassion, and I will see you in the next blog.