On this month’s call we explored how damaging Self-Criticism is to our mindset and how we can use Self-Compassion to heal. When we allow self-criticising thoughts, it immediately pulls of out of our optimal state of alignment. We become less motivated, effective, clear, and capable.
SELF – Criticism
Research shows that we as humans believe we need self-criticism to motivate ourselves. We think that if we are too kind to ourselves, we will becoming self-indulgent and lazy.
“The critical voices in our own heads are far more vicious than what we might hear from the outside. Our “inside critics” have intimate knowledge of us and can zero in on our weakest spots.” -SARK
Research also shows that this is SO FALSE!
In fact, the opposite is true. Self-criticism pulls us out of alignment with our power and potential. It feels aggressive, scary, and stressful when we threaten or beat ourselves up. It has been proven to releases a lot of cortisol into our body, the fight or flight hormone, which eventually shuts us down mentally and physically.
How much time do you spend criticising yourself? Think of the energy and resourcefulness that could be freed up if so much of your energy wasn’t being used for to protect yourself from yourself!
Contemplations on your own self-criticism
- How does it show up for you? What does it say and how does it typically feel?
- When does it show up for you? What areas of your life are at highest risk?
- Why do you choose self-criticism? How has it served you?
- What are the results of self-criticism in your life?
Healing Self-Criticism with Self-Compassion
This is a moment of suffering.
Suffering is part of life.
Monthly Coaching Question
What would loving myself right now look like?
Daily Meditation Ritual
Click to download…
Shifting to a Self-Compassionate Mindset
Dr. Kristen Neff is the leader in researching self-compassion. In her definition (you can read the full version here) she says we first have to start with understanding what compassion is…
“First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her experience is. Second, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”). When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way.” -Dr. Kristen Neff
When we practice self-compassion for ourselves, we start by bringing awareness to our self-criticising thoughts and the suffering that surrounds them. When we acknowledge our own suffering with tenderness and loving kindness, we get to move towards it VS. away from it. We get to move through it VS. having it shut us down.
When we feel safe and comforted we are in the optimal brain state to do our best. Neff’s research shows that a person’s capacity to practice self-compassion is strongly related to mental well-being, life-style choices, less stress, joy, happiness, satisfaction, better connection to others and a stable sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
This month make a commitment to shifting a mindset of self-criticism to a mindset of self-compassion.
Step 1: Get intimate with YOUR inner-critic – To change it, you need to become conscious of it. Dedicate some time to sit with the contemplation questions. Do some journaling and self exploration so that you intimately know how YOUR self-criticism feels in your body and mind. Let this be your trigger this month to shift to compassion.
Step 2: Daily Meditation – Use the daily meditation to reprogram your neuropathways!
> Create your own Self-Compassion Mantra (or use ours) and spend 5 minutes each morning practicing compassion for an area of suffering in your life.
> Bonus points: Practice one of Kristen Neff’s guided meditations daily
Step 3: Coaching Question – Ask yourself this transformational question, “What would loving myself right now look like?” whenever you move into suffering.
***For daily prompts and our online forum, join our Facebook group.