Why Self-Compassion Matters
Self-compassion is our ability to treat ourselves with kindness, understanding and acceptance. It also increases our joy and decreases feelings of anxiety and depression. Author e.e. Cummings reminds us that “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
It takes work to have an understanding of our path and how we can have others join us to create something meaningful in the world. We need to try different things and learn from what works and what does not. We need to get comfortable with things falling apart so we can learn from the experiences. We need to know what does not work for us to get closer to what does. It takes trial and error.. Once you have a solid relationship and trust in yourself, you will be able to build many trusted partnerships and communities. There is no magic bullet, or quick fix, when you want to co-create with grace and self-compassion.
Living in Awareness is Foundational to Self-Compassion
Self-awareness and self-compassion are the essential aspects of conscious leaders, especially when we are under stress and pressure. There are four aspects of compassion:
- compassion for someone you care about;
- compassion for yourself, which is much more difficult than compassion for others;
- compassion for those you don’t know; and, most challenging of all;
- compassion for someone you don’t like or respect.
Leadership no longer means getting people to follow us but is rather about supporting ourselves and those around us. It’s about living our values and creating something bigger than ourselves. There is no way we can like or resonate with everyone. Knowing ourselves and practicing self-compassion means letting go of toxic relationships or finding ways to focus on shared purpose by not taking anything personally.
Trusting oneself is not a linear process; rather, it is a series of ups and downs. In those down periods, it is your values or your true purpose, that will enable you to navigate the storms and during sunny days you will find joy in spectacular sunrises and sunsets. What is your path to self-compassion?