TOP SIX WAYS TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF, #3 Learn the Difference Between Self-Esteem & Self-Compassion
Kristen Neff’s (http://selfcompassion.org/) research not only helps us understand how to practice self-compassion, it also teaches us that a focus on self-esteem may be doing more harm than good. With self-esteem, she says, we compare ourselves to others. I feel good if I’m doing better than someone else – if my grades are higher, I’m judged to be prettier or thinner, or if I make more money for example. But with self-compassion, we don’t have to compare ourselves to someone else to begin feeling better. We simply treat ourselves with love and compassion.
When hearing this information for the first time, my clients often respond by saying – “but how am I supposed to improve in life if I’m not hard on myself?” Here it’s essential to remember Brene Brown’s research on shame. Research actually shows the harder we are on ourselves, the LESS likely we are to accomplish our goals. This is because we’re not feeling good about ourselves – so we’re not very motivated to change. It can seem counter-intuitive at first I know. And that’s why I like to refer to the research. See my previous blog post on Brene Brown to learn more.
If you’d like to learn more about building your self-compassion muscles, call me.