Self -Compassion


Self esteem has long been considered the bedrock of individual success.  But high self-esteem may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.  Thinking you’re great (which of course you are) comes with pressure to live up to your own self-image.  You may live in quiet terror of making mistakes, and even worse, feel devastated when you do.  When faced with a challenge, you don’t need to believe in your own brilliance as much as you need to confront your flaws head on.  Develop self-compassion, a willingness to look at your own shortcomings with kindness and understanding.  With a realistic sense of your abilities and actions, you can figure out what needs to be done differently next time.  Being perfect doesn’t lead to success, but being able to avoid the same mistake twice does.

Adapted from To Succeed, Forget Self Esteem by Heidi Grant Halvorson

 

I ran across this little excerpt a long time ago and stuck in my “future blog post” folder and today as I was digging through  it for fodder for yet another post I was struck by the words as strongly as I was when I read it for the first time.

I have never been a huge believer in myself and in my own abilities. Thank goodness I am way better than I used to be (a lot of thanks goes to my cheerleader husband) but I still doubt my abilities at times and wonder where that doubt in my own self came from.  My parents were always supportive– giving me all the love and encouragement over the years that anyone could imagine.  I was always surrounded by loving and wonderful individuals and encouraged in anything I ever attempted.  And yet–there was always a bit of self doubt.

What the above quote tells me is that I am not alone in my self criticism.  It is far easier to find fault in oneself than to find fault in others.   Admittedly we ALL fall short and face challenges that seem insurmountable but in the big scheme of things most of these challenges can be dealt will successfully if we only allow ourselves to step back and look at it from another perspective.

Today this except helps me as an adult to understand that I am flawed but I have my strengths that I can rely on.  That is where I need to focus today.  Not on my shortcomings but on my God-given strengths.  It’s a new day.  Full of possibilities.  Join me as I journey on with a renewed awareness of who I am and what my capabilities are.

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Comments

  1. Hilary - Dangled Carat says:

    I completely and totally relate, including not knowing where my feelings came from. Like you, marc has been my cheerleader, and I am much better, but I still have doubts

  2. I’m with you on this post, Beth Ann. Thanks for the encouraging reminder. You know, you really need to package and submit these devotionals you’ve written to a Christian publisher.

  3. Self-esteem is an important part of life, for if you do not have a valid and positive opinion of yourself, how can you expect others to have one? But, self-compassion, as you say, is a must, and that comes with allowing oneself to be human and realizing that none of us are perfect. But we must all guard against self-compassion becoming self-pity for that, is self-defeating..
    Nice post Beth Ann, you got me thinking today. Thanks.

  4. This excerpt speaks to me as well Beth Ann. I guess we all have self doubts and perfectionism can be a curse at times. My daughter, bless her, once said, “Things don’t have to be perfect. Things have to get done.” I will send her this post. Thanks.

  5. I think part of being self-aware is doubting yourself. If you only thought you were the best at everything you do & had no concept of your faults you would be a psychopath. Having doubts about ourselves only leads us to not accept anything less than our best. You doubt yourself because you are such a good person!

  6. I do think we are too hard on ourselves at times but we should keep trying to do our best.

  7. alisonhector says:

    Thank God for new days, full of possibilities.” Where our faults make us weak, our strengths show us that we are capable of far more than we imagined. More power to our strengths!

  8. Cheers to supportive hubbies and friends who help us be who we were born to be.

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