Ep. 22: Self Compassion
IN THIS EPISODE:
- The importance of the words we say to ourselves
- Compassion and curiosity
- The importance of self-compassion
Hello friends! What is going on in your life? You know what today is? I’m actually recording this on Sunday – which is my birthday – and how fun is it that I am here with you?
I got an amazing workout in and now this –
You guys – I have to tell you – we recently got a Peloton and I am addicted! I didn’t realize how much it has to offer – not just spinning.
It has strength and yoga and meditation – its crazy.
If you have one – I am misha417 – would love to follow you – I’m still new but I am loving it!
And it was actually a recent day of workouts that gave me the idea for todays episode.
I did a spin, a stretch, a yoga and a meditation and at some point each instructor said be compassionate with yourself.
It was like a lightbulb because when I’m doing one on one private coaching we are always talking about compassion and curiosity being necessary when working to drink less, or lose weight.
And today I want to share with you my take, and why this is so important to accomplishing your goals.
I think in general we like to show compassion for others, but honestly I think the way we sometimes talk to ourselves is unbelieveable – and it’s so easy to have all the negative chatter – our primitive brain is always looking for the negative.
So nothing has gone wrong – all of our brains do this.
But in order to accomplish new things we need to start having some new – and different thoughts.
Oh – lol.. and here’s a great example of how my brain just did this – and it was while I was on the Peloton.
So I’m taking a class with Dennis and he say’s something along the lines of – when I started here I have what they call “no ass-at-all” and since doing this work I have some pretty amazing topography back there.
Now I did chuckle, but immediately my brain told me – sister – you do not need any more topography – you have a big old Arnold butt (that’s my families loving name for these genes of ours….lol).
I would never say that to a girlfriend – but it was so easy to say to myself.
I want to encourage you to start taking some time to pay attention to what you tell yourself.
Sometimes we don’t even notice how much of a self critic we are so this is an important step.
And then ask yourself what is the upside of saying it?
You guys, words are so important.
Especially the words we say to ourselves.
See, our perception of reality comes from the words we tell ourselves over and over – those words become our thoughts, and when we say them over and over they become our beliefs.
And we are creatures of habit so it is so easy to have these beliefs become ingrained.
So, if you are constantly telling yourself you could never drink less, or you can never lose the weight, or you are always passed over for promotions – well that my friend is what you will get in your life.
Now remember – I’m always saying how important emotions are because they drive our action.
So, when you are telling yourself you have never been able to drink less, for example – how does that feel?
Usually defeated comes up.
And since our feelings drive our actions – when you are feeling defeated what happens?
Well, in action could happen – like nothing because you think you will fail, – or more drinking or more eating because you want to escape that feeling of defeat.
What I see happen with some of my clients is maybe they have a plan to drink less and didn’t stick to it – and I’ve done this in the past as well.
Then when we go off plan we beat ourselves up – reinforcing we knew we couldn’t do it, and perpetuating the belief.
What I want to suggest is instead of beating yourself up you get curious and compassionate.
Look at it as an opportunity to learn from what happened and try again.
I mean honestly, so many people are afraid they will “fail”, so they don’t even start. Do you know when you “officially” fail? You fail when you quit, or you fail in advance when you don’t even try.
So if we can at least begin thinking about compassion and curiosity we can start moving in a forward direction.
Now, when I talk about self compassion I am not talking about conceit or arrogance.
I like the way Psychologist Kristin Neff describes self compassion –
as kindess towards self, which entails being gentle, supportive, and understanding.
So rather than harshly judging yourself for short comings, she talks about unconditional acceptance –
in other words, being kind to yourself in good times and bad, in sickness and health and even when we make mistakes.
Here’s the thing – we can make a bad decision, or make a mistake, and not make it mean we are a bad person –
that is so important to differentiate.
Think about this – would you ever tell a kid who is learning how to walk that after the 2nd or 3rd time falling down she should just give up because clearly she is not getting it?
Would you tell her it doesn’t appear that she will figure it out?
You tell her to get up – brush herself off and try again.
You encourage her –
she will get it.
And then one day – she takes off.
Every time she falls and gets up, her legs get stronger, and she gets closer to becoming the kid that walks.
You guys – this is for any goal.
You don’t fail.
You learn along the way.
You become stronger with each lesson.
You keep taking steps to become your next best self.
The more curious and compassionate you are, the more able you are to learn and move on.
Beating ourselves up to drink less or to get to thin does not work.
I mean seriously, how often do you tell yourself you are “being bad”, you “shouldn’t have ate that”, or you shouldn’t have had that much to drink.
This never works. Ever.
So – I want to encourage you to first become mindful of what you are telling yourself.
Next – decide on purpose to drop it –
or at least shift it to something like you are learning how to drink less vs something like – see, I can never seem to get this right.
This may be a challenge because you have been in the negative chatter for so long it may just slip in as an automatic response.
The work for you is to notice when you hear yourself talk like that.
Would you ever say that to a bestie telling you the same story?
So when you notice your brain going there take a pause –
you don’t have to believe what it is telling you,
and you can shift the thought to something that will serve you as you reach toward your goal.
Decide on purpose to come from a curious and compassionate mind.
There is not “bad” or “good”.
It is all learning.
Any time you say you “shouldn’t have” you are just fighting against reality and there is no useful part of that statement.
Maybe you did drink or eat something off plan.
Ok – now what – what do you make it mean?
A great exercise is to write down exactly what you had to drink or ate off plan.
And be specific because our brains will tell us how it was so much more – but if you stick to the facts – was it 2 glasses more?
Take some time to look at what was going on in that moment, and decide what you will do next time you are faced with a similar situation.
This my friend, is so much more helpful to you then beating yourself up.
Be willing to be compassionate and curious.
Honestly – just give what I’m talking about a whirl.
You can always go back to the negative chatter if you want –
but by doing this work you may actually begin to create the life you imagine.
You know how Ellen always says to be kind to one another –
well, today, my birthday wish is for you to also be kind to yourself – just like the old airplane oxygen rule – take care of yourself first, and you can truly help make the world a better place.
Ok – that’s what I have for you today. If you haven’t already downloaded your free guide to drink less head over to Mindfulweighs.com/freebie.
Let’s circle back next week – but for now – make it a great day – I know I will – take care!