Mistakes happen, and I can be pretty hard on myself when I goof up. I’m my own worst critic, and I used to assume that this was somehow noble. After all, being compassionate with myself when I misstep means I’m more likely to repeat the behavior. Right?
Wrong. Dr. Kristen Neff, renowned researcher and writer on self-compassion wrote:
“Self-compassionate people set high standards for themselves, but they aren’t as upset when they don’t meet their goals. Instead, research shows that they’re more likely to set new goals for themselves after failure rather than wallowing in feelings of frustration and disappointment. Self-compassionate people have more intrinsic motivation in life — trying hard because they want to learn and grow, not because they need to impress themselves or others. Self-compassionate people are more likely to take responsibility for their past mistakes, while acknowledging them with greater emotional equanimity. Research also shows that self-compassion helps people engage in healthier behaviors like sticking to their weight-loss goals, exercising, quitting smoking and seeking medical care when needed.”
If you want high standards, an ability to bounce back after failure and internally-wired motivation (who doesn’t?!), give yourself a break. Need to be more self-compassionate, but don’t know where to begin? See these simple practices.
How do you keep perspective when you deviate from your usual best practices? Comment below or message us.
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