“Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”- Kristen Neff from self-compassion.org
I struggle with self-compassion. I beat myself up for not being perfect. Nothing shows my perfectionist attitude (that I’m trying to break) than in high school when I got excellent grades (6A*s and 2As) by anyone’s standards but I wasn’t happy because it wasn’t “perfect”.
I used to think it made me stronger; until I woke up one morning crying my eyes out. Instead of dealing with feelings of betrayal, inadequacy and humiliation, I would blame myself for not knowing better or doing better.
I prolonged my pain; if I had stopped beating myself up for not knowing or not being perfect, chances are I would have been better much earlier. But by ignoring it while simultaneously blaming myself, it all came crumbling down when I couldn’t pretend to not care anymore. Even now I’m still blaming myself for not being “strong enough” to shake it off and forget. Whatever that means.
When your self-esteem comes crumbling down and you begin to question everything about yourself, or you become deathly insecure about who you are and what you can do, maybe it’s time to practice some self-compassion.
You are entitled to make mistakes, or not know something. Don’t blame yourself for not knowing, just heal and move on. It will still hurt but at least the feelings of shame will be gone.