The Magic of Self-Compassion
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Self-compassion is about allowing ourselves to be us, to eliminate the need to compare ourselves to anyone else.
Until we learn self-compassion, we can’t fully love ourselves.
What does self-compassion look like? This looks like my new workout routine, a brisk nature walk without counting calories or wearing a Fitbit to keep track of how many miles, as I am being kind to myself while moving my body. Self-care and self-compassion are about removing guilt and shame from being you; it’s about you honoring your true needs. It’s about identifying your habits and behaviors and allowing yourself to be you. It is about allowing yourself to be who you really are, not who you think you should be or who society thinks you should be. Self-compassion at its core is about learning how to be gentle and kind to yourself in a world that pushes the opposite. Self-compassion is the foundation of self-love.
But most important, self-compassion is about allowing ourselves to be us, to eliminate the need to compare ourselves to anyone else. When we compare ourselves, we fall victim to our ego mind. We think mean thoughts about ourselves that we begin to believe are true. I learned that being kind to myself starts by stopping the comparison mentality. When I first started growing my business, I always compared myself to others. I looked at other authors and my own life coach and felt jealous because I wasn’t as “far” along as they were. They had bestselling books and thousands of followers all celebrating their work. They were on TV sharing their message. I wanted that. But as long as I was comparing myself to them, I never felt good enough. I realized this pattern itself, of always looking outside myself for fulfillment, was keeping me from being fulfilled. Everything changed when I stopped looking at others and thinking I needed to be more like them and I started to show more of me. I have a saying I use with my entrepreneur clients: “The more you that you show, the more your business will grow.” Which I found to be true: the more me I allowed to shine through, the faster my business grew. I stopped comparing myself to my mentors and other authors and just celebrated me.
You can apply this saying to any area of your life: “The more me I show, the more my dreams will grow!” “The more me I show, the more my relationships will flow.” “The more me I show, the easier my life will flow.”
Try it out—this is a powerful mantra you can use in your own life to overcome insecurities and setbacks.
The Self-Love Experiment is an experiment, which means some things will work for you, while others may not. It’s important to exercise compassion along your journey and let go of the drive for perfection. I made sure to be kind to myself and treat the entire process as an experiment.
This is an excerpt from The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser published by TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Copyright 2017.