I am just amazed at how often I hear the phrase, “I am my own worst enemy,” or some other similar phrase implying the ideas of being self-critical or self-sabotaging. I wonder to myself how might someone’s life look different in the days and weeks ahead if they could turn this statement upside down. What would happen if instead, we stated, “I am my own best friend.”
How would that change the way you live? Here’s how you can change your thought process:
Kristin Neff has been researching self-compassion for many years now, and she has shared this in a TedTalk on her website. She shares that self-compassion has 3 key ingredients, which are:
- Self-kindness – treating you like you would treat a good friend
- Common humanity – recognizing that we all suffer
- Mindful awareness – connecting with/being in the present moment, without judgment, and without a need to hold anything or push anything away.
So, with self-kindness, it sounds simple enough, but unfortunately, we have a lot of programming in which we are self-critical, always on guard for the moment that we are going to screw up. We would never treat our friends like this and we could really benefit from changing this pattern with ourselves.
The idea of common humanity is really helpful too. When we recognize that we are not the only ones suffering, and even realize that everyone suffers from time to time, maybe we can feel less alone. This could give us another reason to lighten up and be kinder to ourselves.
The third component is mindful awareness. With mindfulness of the present moment, we can be more fully connected to our lives and to our thoughts and feelings in each moment. Rather than trying so hard to avoid our difficult thoughts and feelings, we could hold them more lightly and not be so overwhelmed by them.
If we could be our own best friend then we would always have someone to do things with!
Doing my best to live life on Purpose! -Terri Mudge