Why You Should Have Compassion for Yourself

What Self Compassion is Not

What do you think of when you hear ‘self compassion’? Do you think of a narcissist? Someone who thinks they can do no wrong?

A narcissist fails to acknowledge their shortcomings because if they do, they lose their ‘shield’. They think by not acknowledging their mistakes or shortcomings, no one will ever be able to hurt them.

Even if you’re not a narcissist, it is still difficult to admit our mistakes in our culture. In the USA, we walk a tightrope of being confident while not being boastful. Don’t you dare show any signs of weakness, but also don’t you dare think you’re perfect. No wonder people feel they need a shield to protect themselves!

None of us are perfect. Some of us are just better at ruses. However, if you have compassion for yourself and your shortcomings, you don’t need a ruse.

Measuring Self Worth

Have you felt bad about not accomplishing enough during quarantine?

Covid hasn’t left us with many ways to keep up the illusion of striving for more and being perfect. Meaning: we don’t feel very good about ourselves right now. How do we measure our self worth if our previous methods of feeling like enough have been stripped away? Do we write a novel? Learn a new language? How do we maximize quarantine?

Am I doing enough? Am I enough?

Asking ‘am I enough?’ is an irrelevant question.

You Are Enough

You will always be enough, whether you decide to learn a new language or binge watch Netflix for 5 months. Have some compassion for yourself!

Instead of saying “I should be more productive. I’m lazy and a terrible person for watching Netflix yet again” try, “this is a really hard time for everyone right now and I’m doing what I can to cope.”

You may be thinking, “yeah, well is watching Netflix for 5 months straight healthy? Shouldn’t I be more productive anyway?” 

You’re not going to feel better by judging yourself. So again, that’s an irrelevant question. Try being compassionate with yourself (not to be confused with feeling sorry for yourself).

That takes some of the pressure off, doesn’t it?

Maybe by taking some of the pressure off yourself, you’ll feel like learning something new. But maybe not. It doesn’t matter. 

This is an important time to be nice to yourself. Even when quarantine is over, if you want to keep watching Netflix, that’s also fine. If that’s what you want to do, you were probably going to do it anyway, so why willingly increase your suffering?

Stop judging yourself. There’s no right or wrong way to spend this time.