If you’re like a lot of women, you can be hard on yourself and overly critical of your “failures”. It’s not that you enjoy doing this. But you think you need to be this way when you mess up. After all, how else will you learn? But psychology research shows that being kind and compassionate to yourself will actually help you reach your goals and succeed. Learn more about how to be kind to yourself to succeed below.
Some self-criticism is healthy. It can be an objective look at what went wrong (and right), and motivate us to do things differently and better. But too much self-criticism can increase your feelings of anxiety and depression.
And if you’re already feeling stressed, pressured and discouraged, who wants to add even more negative feelings to your experience?
Enter kindness and self-compassion.
Psychologist, Dr. Kirsten Neff, of the University of Texas, defines self-compassion as “treating yourself with the same kindness, care and concern you show a loved one.”
And with self-compassion, you accept and love yourself, instead of beating yourself about your flaws.
But you might be thinking that giving yourself kindness and compassion is a weak and lazy thing to do. But in her research, Dr. Neff has found that self-compassion creates greater resilience in individuals, and can help people deal with distressing situations.
Further research has found that the more self-compassion you have, the less stressed out you feel, too.
And another reason why self-compassion and self-kindness are so powerful is because these traits allow you to see failure or mistakes as just that – failures and mistakes. You can see them without identifying yourself and your self-worth with them.
In short, self-compassion allows people to see themselves as worthy even if they’re not perfect.
So, if you’re under a lot of pressure, or are feeling stressed out about deadlines, expectations and projects, consider increasing kindness and self-compassion. It may actually help you perform better and feel better, too.