Why does self-compassion help? How do you do it, simply and easily?
When you begin to consciously and intentionally to ‘do’ self-compassion, you will begin to see and feel subtle differences in how you are, how your life is, and how people respond to you.
It may be a bit scary at first, to not put others’ perceived needs before yours. I can still remember when I started to consciously have stronger boundaries around my time for me. Previously I would have been the one to volunteer to do things, nearly to insist on it, for instance for a professional group I was involved with. I began to realise I was allowing my own work, wellbeing and sanity to take umpteenth place in the queue and ended up doing my ‘volunteer’ work very unvoluntarily with a baaaaad attitude and resentment.
I thought there would be irritation and anger from other people when I changed my habits of a lifetime. I still recall the heart-thumping fear while I was sitting at the meeting, knowing I was going to be potentially letting people down. “What would they think of me?”
I’d rehearsed what I was going to say, practiced not apologising or justifying, and took a deep breath before speaking. I looked at the chairperson as I spoke in a clear, calm tone. Sure, there was a surprised reaction. And then she thanked me for previous work, and asked for another volunteer. No problem.
The world didn’t fall apart. I regained time to focus on my wellbeing and my own work. And I began to find relief in letting go of the need to please people, to make them like me.
Sure, it’s taken focus and practice to strengthen this new habit. Forty years of people pleasing / thinking I’m the only one who can do something …. It takes practice to break that habit! I’m happy to say I’m strengthening all the time.
Simple self-compassion exercise for you: time needed: 3-5 minutes
Scan across your life. Where do you do the people-pleasing thing, at a cost to your wellbeing and sanity? When you identify them, list brief headings for each of them in your journal or a piece of paper. Keep going until you have about 10. They’re there somewhere, believe me.
When you’ve got your list, take a couple of gently deep breaths, put on your rational head, on a scale of 1 -5, with 5 being easiest, ask yourself: “which of these would be the easiest to begin to change”? Write the number beside it.
When you’ve chosen the ONE that you’re going to begin with, ask yourself:
What do I need to do or say to change this?
What support, if any, do I need?
Why do I want to change this?
What will be the difference when I change this?
What will happen if I don’t?
How will I know my planned changes are working?
When am I going to start?
So now you’ve got a choice. Are you going to do it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this, and any of your questions. Email me: email@example.com; alternatively visit me on Facebook: Trudy Arthurs, the Compassionate Confidence Specialist.
Visit www.trudyarthurs.com to subscribe for my regularish free E-Notes – you’ll receive a free Compassionate Confidence e-book when it’s published. Looking forward to connecting with you, really soon.
Bye for now. t x
I’m based in Northern Ireland, and with the help of the magic of technology, work with clients around the world. Local work has included executive coaching in the Police Service of Northern Ireland and several major local business in hospitality, manufacturing, retail and not-for-profit sectors. I’m a professionally accredited Executive Coach with the Association for Coaching, trained Executive Coach Training facilitator and tons of other qualifications, including Master EFT and Reiki Practitioner.
I’ve walked and lived the path of recovery from alcohol addiction and a diagnosis of terminal cancer in 2000 – and am still here. It’s my learnings and experiences from these that are making me realise where my real joy lurks. To work (particularly with women) to help them enhance their self-care, self-compassion, other-compassion – both personally and professionally. I work with groups and individuals.
Having delivered two tester programmes over the past four months, to resounding success, I am now keen to move more into that space.
To priority-register for details of my new compassion programmes, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
©Dancing Leopards 2016