Have you ever applied the saying “you can attract more bees with honey than vinegar” to yourself? Tried influencing yourself from the position of being your own best friend?
Past mistakes or shortcomings can get our inner critic going crazy when we want to start fresh. When we start setting new health goals or go for a DO-OVER (try to lose weight again), we are inundated with thoughts that tell us why we can’t do it. Or why it’s not a good time to try. Or, why even bother since the last time was a major fail?!
These crazy stories come at us like they’re the truth. The reality though, is that they’re just thoughts the brain uses to try to keep us from changing. Remember, the brain likes to be comfy, so it works overtime to scare us into stagnancy.
In these loud moments, self-compassion needs to be let in.
It can clear a path by helping us understand our humanness and accept that we did the best we could with the tools we had. Just like a best friend would tell you why you’re still awesome and deserving of whatever you want to complete, self-compassion can be the gentle reminder and permission to move forward with confidence and grace.
Making mistakes is part of the human experience and grace is too.
Years ago when I started sharing my story about my eating disorder, I “owned it” and used humor around it, but hadn’t understood the self-compassion piece.
When I was in the disorder (and way before knowing what self-compassion was), I was so mean to her. I looked her in the eye in the mirror and told her she was sick, ugly, and fat and she was never going to be o.k. Now, I look back and wish I could have comforted that sad girl who thought she wasn’t good enough, who partied to numb her sadness, and who was scared and lonely because of the secret she was hiding.
Although I couldn’t do it at the time, it’s what I’ve done for myself now and it’s given me freedom. The practice of self-compassion has helped me move on many times since.
I hope this next example is something that can resonate with you if you’re carrying some unwanted guilt.
Working with a business coach in 2018 gave me another opportunity at self-compassion and it has been life-changing for myself and my clients that have chosen to take it in.
This coach said to me, Robin, you’re trying to create from a place of guilt, push and panic and it’s not working. The guilt needs to be healed.
I had opened up about all of the time, money, and energy spent, courses and seminars I’d taken, unfinished projects, not being where I wanted to be in my business, and how desperate I felt to figure out my message and get it out into the world (I was creating my MindBody Do-Overs program at the time and it felt impossible).
I had already done a lot of work around being kinder to myself. I was continuing to let go of perfectionistic thinking. I knew I had a lot of guilt, but thought it was appropriate for the circumstances (I’m talking about a lot of years of holding myself back). I was trying to hustle and grind from the place of I have to! The pushing, judging, and negative thoughts just kept me spinning in doubt and fear. The coach helped me see how that energy wasn’t working and why I was so stuck.
Right then, two things happened. Grace and self-compassion helped.
1. She pointed out to me that everything I’d done up to this point needed to happen. That all of my experiences were stepping stones. It was like she was giving me permission to forgive myself for not being where I thought I should be, accept that I was right where I was supposed to be, and without hesitation, I felt a big HELL YES! She offered a gift and I chose to accept it.
2. I instantly thought of my clients over the years that came with the desire to lose weight. Many of them had guilt about money spent, diets and special food, unfinished goals, not being where they wanted to be in their life, and desperate to figure out their weight! I loved this parallel lightbulb moment that I would be able to share with my clients, this conversation had been a game-changer.
Self-compassion can change our lives if we let it! It’s not about being weak or throwing in the towel, it’s about do-overs without the baggage of our past. We all deserve grace.
Where can you use self-compassion to give yourself a much-needed break and breakthrough?
Is there a place in your life that if you re-visited it with self-compassion, you could move forward with more peace and ease?
If you’ve been a no-self-compassion-for-me, toughen-up-buttercup type of gal, would you be willing to give this a try? If not, can you pinpoint the fear behind your no?
Self-Compassion clears the way for us.
Feeling worthy of success and opportunities in any area of our lives allows us to gain clarity
and take bolder steps towards what we want.
You can choose it just like I did! Choose grace, leave fear and doubt behind. Choose self-compassion.
I hope you’ll reach out if you would like support in this exercise or any other wellness coaching!
Wishing you the best always,