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Self compassion.

Many of us find it all too easy to put ourselves down and disapprove of ourselves. We are often far too hard on ourselves and self-criticism is an all too familiar trait. This constant self-bashing and self-critical thinking can be extremely destructive, and challenging these habitual tendencies can be very difficult.

So why is it that we find it so hard to love ourselves? 

In our society we are often taught that being hard on ourselves and ashamed of everything from our actions to our looks gets results. We are taught to work harder and behave better by having our faults emphasised rather than our successes praised. We rarely think of showing ourselves kindness and love or even if we do, we worry that doing so is selfish, egocentric, complacent or arrogant.

 Our inner critic can be brutal and self-criticism can often feel like an inner voice. Depending on the situation it will say things like – I’m not good enough, I’m ugly, I’m useless, I wont ever amount to anything, and so on. This inner voice can sabotage us and negatively impact our personal and professional lives. The voice can become so ingrained that we begin to criticise ourselves without even realising it and it can become very hard to step outside our self-loathing, self-critical bubble and see things from a different perspective.


Insecurity, anxiety, depression and illnesses such as eating disorders are sadly incredibly common in our society and much of this is due to self-judgment, a sense of self-hatred and always concentrating on our flaws rather than focusing on our strengths and the many things that make us great.  

By practising self-compassion we can help to improve our health and wellbeing and diminish that relentless negative thinking. Self-compassion involves being kind to ourselves, forgiving ourselves and treating ourselves with the same kindness, caring and respect we would show a loved one.  

Compassion is a natural instinct within us all and we are very good at being present to the suffering of others and showing care and support when a friend, family member or complete stranger for that matter are in times of need. The way we treat ourselves, however, is often far from caring and supportive.

 We all make mistakes and have imperfections but that is what makes us human. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all learn to embrace our individuality and accept ourselves wholly and completely? As we go through life we will be faced with struggles and difficult times but if we are able to acknowledge when we are hurting and practice self-compassion by extending kindness, care and warmth to ourselves rather than beratement and criticism we all have the capacity to be happier. 

 So next time the road gets a bit bumpy and you are struggling, try to support yourself through that struggle and treat yourself with the love and respect which you, as much as anyone else deserves.