Self-compassion is the key to long-term joy, love & success

Having compassion for yourself shouldn't be much different than the compassion that you give to others. Unfortunately many of us have more empathy for strangers than we do for ourselves. We often have little patience and less tolerance for our own errors or poor judgment. 

When life takes a negative turn or we suffer a setback in our business, we are less likely to be sympathetic to our own plight. However, if the same incident happened to a friend, coworker or someone on Facebook, we would be gracious with words of encouragement. 

Industry Influencer women

Let's talk about self-compassion

Self-compassion is about being warm, loving, understanding toward yourself when you suffer, fail, feel inadequate or have defeating self-talk. 

Self-compassion encourages you to feel the disappointment, feel the pain while avoiding self-criticism. Being kind to yourself lowers your anxiety and decreases the number of bouts of depression as well as shorten the time in that space.

Here are 8 habits you can start today to practice self-compassion:

Stop the Negative Self-Talk

Stop yourself in your tracks when you start to get loose with lips. Don't allow yourself to speak negatively to or about yourself. If you don't have anything nice to say to yourself, don't talk. If you make a mistake, accept responsibility, course correct and move on to do better.

It is not necessary to make derogatory statements to or about yourself because you messed up. Perhaps you didn't look both ways, you were distracted and took your eyes off the ball, it doesn't make you stupid...not for real and not as a joke. Self-deprecation may not serve you well unless you trying to get laughs as a comedian.

Self-Kindness is the New Lifeline

Practice self-kindness as if your life depends up on it. Self-kindness is a different way to relate to yourself, thereby changing the way you relate to others. Self-kindness is not about feeling better than anyone else. It is not about evaluating yourself. It is more about the attitude that you adopt toward your own failure and suffering. 

Here are 3 components researchers have identified:

People who are kind to themselves are tolerant and loving toward themselves when dealing with pain or failure. Self-judgement people are too tough and intolerant toward themselves. People who experience common humanity understand that their failings and feelings of inadequacy are a part of the human condition shared by nearly everyone else at some point in their lives. People who isolate tend to feel alone in their failure as opposed to the notion that everyone fails sometimes...and everyone plays the fools sometime too!

You are experiencing self-kindness when you are able to regulate your emotions by taking a balanced view of your thoughts. This is also true when you are able to keep your emotions in perspective with facts. 

Mistakes are not confirmation that you are a failure. Poor judgment is not evidence of personal inadequacy. 

You are the Personal Brand of You

You are in control over one life - yours. You are the best version of you there will ever be. No one can be a better you, than you. How exciting is that! Your personal brand is as unique as your thumb print. Honor your differentiation. Treasure the unique splendor that is you. Comparing yourself to others is a recipe for unhappiness because you can not be anyone else...and you shouldn't want to be.

Comparing yourself to others inherently causes inner conflict. Your mind and spirit can reconcile being anyone else. You will always feel inadequate and unfulfilled if you are striving to be someone else.

The only game you can really win... is being you.

Learning Opportunities Everywhere

In all results, events, and situations is a chance to learn something new or have something you already know is reinforced. You may learn through other people, life assignments, self-study or on-the-job training - all for your highest good. Value your life by always being open to being better. 

Do better by loving yourself to accept the gift of personal development. Be a deliberate and motivated lifelong learner. Lifelong learners are enhanced by your understanding of the world around you. Your quality of life is improved when you poor knowledge and wisdom into yourself. 

Don't Go It Alone

There are times when we get stuck. We get a notion in our mind and we just can't shake it. I know, I have been there. As a child, I was regularly told, "Don't brag, no one likes people who show off." What lesson does this phrase teach a child? It taught me not to celebrate my wins. It taught me that my good grades, making the shot or anything else does not warrant being excited and proud. On one hand, this also taught me to be humble, doing well is expected so don't expect a cookie. On the other hand, it was the start of many years of self-talk that what I accomplish isn't a big deal. 

For others, words spoken to them as a child leave them with feelings of never being good enough. The imposter syndrome for example causes esteemed professionals to doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments to the point they are paralyzed with fear of being exposed as a "fraud."

At some point, if you unable to change your mindset, fully enjoy success or find it in your heart to be kind to yourself, please get some assistance from a professional. There are support groups, counselors, therapists and coaches who are trained to help you deal with 

Patience is Really a Virtue

The most effective way to show compassion to yourself is to give yourself patience. Change doesn't often happen overnight. Don't set yourself up for failure by thinking you can make massive change in a short period of time. Be patient. Take your time. Give yourself a break. Craft a plan that will enable you to be transparent, be authentic and be true to your story and your joy.

Accept Grace

When something good happens in your life, appreciate it. When you receive favor, accept it in gratitude. You deserve kindness, acceptance, support and love. Everything in the universe works for your highest good, and so you do.

How to show grace to yourself:

The Best Love is Unconditional

Giving unconditional love is sometimes difficult. It is rarely easy to give others unconditional love let alone ourselves. If you are like me, you are your hardest critic. There was a time in my life that no one could say anything negative about me that I haven't already said to myself. I used my self-awareness as a weapon against me. 

Unconditional love is simply loving yourself with no strings attached. It's loving yourself freely without regard to circumstances,  experiences or memories. Loving yourself just because you are you. That's it. Giving yourself love when you haven't done anything to earn it. 

Yes, this means loving yourself even during times of disappointment, shame and embarrassment. Nothing you can do or say will stop you from affirming your support, honor and care for yourself.

Create and environment and habits that promote self-serving compassion. Cultivate self-love. 

You are brave. You are evolving. You are empowered. You are exceptional. You are revolutionary. Be it. Stand in it, with love.


Andrea Callahan inspires passionate & purpose-driven brands to maximize their strengths to craft an image that represents their WHY, and then use that WHY to position themselves as Industry Influencers; who share experiences that attract their Ideal Buyers. Callahan is a speaker, seminar leader, and the author of, "It's Your Brand ~ Make Your Identity Clear." Callahan is also the principal brand manager @ACIagency, a high-end boutique, integrated-marketing agency, specializing in helping locally-owned brands share their WHY.

I Would Love to Hear From You...

    8,446 replies to "How to Develop Self-Serving Compassion"