Mca blog

Building Self-Compassion

When you’re tough on yourself you may be inadvertently setting yourself up for failure.

Think of it like this: if someone close to you is always telling you that you’re not good enough, you may first try to prove them wrong. But after a while it wears you down and you may start to believe them. At the very least, it can damage your self-confidence.

Our self-talk, what we say to ourself with our inner voice, is often unkind and we may say derogatory things to ourself that we would never say to anyone else. Why is that? Why do we find it so hard to be nice to ourselves.

Self-kindness is not about buying yourself treats or eating/drinking your way into comfort. It’s about showing yourself compassion for whatever struggles you may be having, with both your actions and your inner dialogue. It’s being honest with yourself, acknowledging and accepting both strengths and shortcomings. loving yourself “warts & all”. It may also mean resting when we’re feeling unwell rather than “soldiering on”. Or acknowledging sadness or grief instead of pushing away these normal human emotions.

In one of our recent Monday Mindfulness sessions I took the group through a traditional compassion meditation, also known as Metta. There are many ways to practice this training in self-kindness. This recording mirrors the way I was taught by authors and teachers Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield at a workshop in San Diego about 10 years ago. In my personal practice I adapt this meditation according to my needs at the time. But I always feel the traditional way is the best way to start.

This recording is about 20 mins long. So find a quiet and comfortable place to sit, put your phone on “Do not disturb”, and enjoy!

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