I’ve been making videos for over two years, and I can’t believe I’ve never talked about self-compassion before. It’s one of my favorite concepts. I use it all the time with clients, and it’s radically changed my own life. But I’ve never talked about it in depth. So today, we’re changing that. Watch to get the scoop on self-compassion, and learn why it’s critical to start thinking about the way you talk to yourself.
Let me ask you a question. Would you ever talk to someone you love the way you talk to yourself? Would you ever say the things you say to yourself after making a mistake to a friend or family member who had messed up? My guess? No way. Not a chance. You’d never talk to someone else the way you talk to yourself. You’d never use the language and tone that you take with yourself with the people you love.
If you’re a regular here, then you know how obsessed I am with self-talk. Changing your inner dialogue, particularly in difficult moments, is one of the most important things you can do for your mental and emotional health. Because when you let your brain go on autopilot, the dialogue upstairs tends to a take a pretty harsh and critical turn.
This is where self-compassion comes in. Most of us are really good at being kind and gentle and encouraging with the people we love. Yet when it comes to ourselves, we take a “suck it up” and “quit your complaining approach.” We beat ourselves up, we pick apart our actions, and we focus on our mistakes. We’re great at comforting others, but we’re harsh and judgmental with ourselves.
Self-compassion calls you to do this differently. It asks you to use the same encouraging and gentle approach that you take with friends, with yourself. It prompts you to be a little bit kinder to yourself when you make a mistake. But self-compassion isn’t just some fluffy, self-help thing. It has a ton of documented benefits, including greater happiness and less depression. It can be a powerful tool in improving your life.
If one of your friends came to you after making a mistake, what would you say to them? Would you call them a loser and tell them they should’ve known better? Probably not. But would you say something along those lines to yourself? You betcha.
People often try to tell me that it’s different. That we can’t compare our self-talk to the words we use with others. But is it really different? Because last I checked, both you and your friends are human. Which means you both need and deserve compassion.
Most people aren’t even aware of their internal dialogue and just how harsh they can be with themselves. They don’t even notice. So I’m asking you to slow down. Pay attention. Listen to the difference between the way you talk to others and the way you talk to yourself, particularly in moments of struggle.
Do you talk to yourself the same way you talk to your friends? When you mess up, do you comfort yourself the way you comfort the people you love? Self-compassion prompts you to use the kindness and compassion you have with others with yourself. It asks you to turn those things inward, using them with the person in the mirror.
How would your life change if you started being kinder and more compassionate toward yourself? How would times of struggle and pain be different if you could be a little nicer with yourself, much like you are with a friend? If you’re ready to find out, then self-compassion is for you.