Embracing Self-Compassion


What does it mean to be gentle with yourself?

Being gentle with yourself involves letting go of self-judgment in all its various forms. It entails adopting thoughts that release unwanted criticism or judgment of oneself. Instead of categorizing things as "right" or "wrong," you simply focus on finding ways to achieve desired results or outcomes.

How can I start practicing being gentile with myself?

Starting the process is quite simple. Remember that you are inherently perfect and everything that happens is ultimately for your own good. It all begins with the phrase, "I am where I am, and that is okay." Take note of how you talk to yourself or speak about yourself. As you become more attentive, you may catch moments when your thoughts are degrading or judgmental. Rather than becoming upset, embrace this realization. By bringing these thoughts and beliefs about yourself into the open, you can begin to change them. If such thoughts arise, simply repeat the phrase, "I am where I am, and that is okay." Congratulations! You have overcome the biggest hurdle in this process. Now, you can start correcting any unwanted self-talk.

One useful suggestion when observing your self-talk is to eliminate the word "should." Phrases like "I should have done this" or "I shouldn't have done that" are common fallacies in how people communicate with themselves. "Should" implies immediate judgment based on a known outcome versus an unknown one. Instead, I encourage you to reframe those thoughts by saying, "It would have been better to..." By doing so, you release self-judgment and adjust your thinking about the subject. Remember, you cannot know all possible outcomes, only the one you experienced.

These simple steps serve as the foundation, but they can significantly change your perception and self-esteem. I encourage you to give it a try for a month. Take note of how you currently feel about yourself, and then reassess at the end of the month. This process represents a substantial leap toward self-acceptance.

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