Why Self-Compassion Leads To Success


Everytime I write a new post I battle with thoughts of not knowing enough about what I write about. There are people who know way more, why do I think I'm entitled to write about self-compassion? I'm not Kristen Neff.

I believe most (if not ALL) creatives has this inner battle everytime we create. The good news is we're talking more about the challenges of doing creative work so it demystifies. Creatives like Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown, Austin Kleon, Alex Mathers and many, many more talk about what it's really like to live a creative life and not the social media version. 

What is self-compassion?

To explain what self-compassion is I'm going to quote Kristen Neff who studies and teaches self-compassion. She has written a book and done a TEDTalk about self-compassion. And I have done a course in CourageWorks with Brené Brown and Kristen Neff on self-compassion. 

Self-compassion is treating yourself like someone you care about, with support, encouragement, and warmth.
— Kristen Neff

The deeper description is : 

"Compassion is the heart's response to any negative emotional experience. All hurt matters! How we respond to the "small moments" matters."

There are 3 core components to self-compassion

  • Self- kindness vs. self-judgment (self-kindness takes the form of active self-soothing)

  • Common humanity vs isolation (we are all human, imperfect and suffering. Imperfection unites us, it doesn't isolate us.)

  • Mindfulness (courageous presence) vs over-identifying. (Mindfulness: the ability to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment, as it's happening.)

The mindfulness bit is important because we need to be opn to our difficulty or struggle in every moment to be able to allow compassion to emerge. Instead of going into "fix it mode" when we are experiencing negativity, we have to acknowledge our moment of struggle to be able to be compassionate toward ourselves.

I hope I'm able to explain it properly, it makes sense when Kristen explains it which is why I recommend her book.

When you are struggling with trying to start a blog or a business. When you snap at you kids or your partner. Or when you do something wrong at work or don't like a family member, remember this is what makes you connected to the rest of us who feel the same struggles. It might be different things we struggle with, but often they are the same.

This is when we have a chance to practice being kind to ourselves, realizing that struggle and negative emotions is a human experience and staying in the moment instead of running away some story about how I'm always.... or this always happens to me...etc. 

Why self-compassion leads to success

As Kristen's studies show, we are much more likely to be brave, be vulnerable (which is the basis of creativity, joy, and connection) when we practice self-compassion.

Self-compassion is one of the biggest sources of strength and resilience that we have available to us.
— Kristen Neff

It means that "if we have our back we are more inclined to deal with struggle in a strong and resilient way."

Self-compassion is a strength, not a weakness. 

People who are self-compassionate take more responsibility for themselves and when they have hurt someone else. They are more likely to look after their health, 

And this one, self-compassion leads to success because they are kind to themselves when they make a mistake. And so it becomes safe to make mistakes and mistakes are needed to create and reach goals.

Holy cow!

I am new to the study and practice of self-compassion and this entire post is practically a Kristen Neff quote. 

But I believe we need to practice this. 

I am terrified of failing but if I practice self-compassion I will become braver with my life, my business, my blog. I might be able to do many of those things that scare the bejeezus out of me. 

There's a whole lot more to the study of self-compassion and if you want to learn more, these 2 ladies are my faves: Kristen Neff and Kelly McGonigal

When doing creative work, it's not self-discipline or self-criticism that is going to make us do the work day in and day out. That just doesn't work for me, and I don't want to live that way. 

I can definitely say that I can feel this practice of having my own back and being kind to myself in times of struggle is something that will take time to learn. But can you imagine the amount of fear and anxiety that would disappear because no matter what, you had your own back?

Life changing.