The last couple of months have been a Mt Everest of learning for me. Mainly around the technology to support my new self-compassion online programme for women. And last night was a fantastic example of how being able to give myself some self-compassion helped me to cope with what previously would have been a head-wrecking experience. Here’s the short version.
The plan was to host a webinar to teach and coach a group of women guests about how self-compassion can be a powerful support in their lives. Lots of people registered.
I’d chosen a webinar platform that I’d not used before. All previous ones I’d used were unsatisfactory for my needs. Did my practice run, rehearsed, was all set to go. Got the lippy and hairspray working, looked well. Still a bit ‘performance-nervy’ but ready. Or so I thought.
I entered the virtual meeting room early, to connect with early participants. There I am, in the room, could see and hear myself on camera, could see my shared screen, but could hear nothing else, although there were many participants’ names telling me they were present!
Did a quick bit of chat-boxing to them to ask if they could hear/see me? Yes, they replied! What the heck was going on? I checked out of the room and back in three times, and despite all best efforts, no change. My guests could see/hear me, my sharescreen, they were fine. But I thought there was a technical fault at my end or with the technology.
So, I told my guests “I’m taking a self-compassion moment here. I’m really sorry, this is not working for me as I thought it would, so I’m going to ask your patience. Let’s reschedule, if that’s ok?” And was delighted to receive lots of ‘no worries / don’t apologise / let us know when rescheduled’.
I switched off all the technology and found that I was surprisingly calm. Took a break for a cup of tea and some thinking, did some research on the features of the webinar technology I’d used. Only to find that in fact the feature to have live interaction with guests is via a typed chat-box, and not live verbal chat.
Had I misunderstood my initial research, before I’d subscribed to it? Yes. My default reaction poked its way through – initially I was really cross with myself on discovering that. Until I very quickly tapped into one of Dr Kirstin Neff’s key points of self-compassion:
Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment.
She writes: “Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.”
Believe me, the Trudy of some years ago would have had a right old time whipping myself black, blue and purple with self-criticism about this incident, knocking myself sideways for days, unable to function. I certainly would not be rescheduling any further webinars!
But! Here’s the thing …. If a friend had been in a similar situation, I would have been much more supportive to them than I would have been to myself.
Now that I’ve learned about the beautiful, gentle power of self-compassion, now that I consciously bring it into my life, and now that I help other women like myself to do the same – life is much easier. It’s taken conscious practice, and it’s making a huge difference to many of my life areas – health, confidence, relationships and my business.
How About You?
How does this resonate with you? Have you had similar nightmare experiences to this? Read through this again, identify the steps I took. Hopefully they will help you as you go encounter the inevitable moments of getting things ‘wrong’ which we all have in our lives.
The ‘Your Self Compassion Way (c) programme has already started at this point. To register for the next one, starting in August, email email@example.com; you can also send your questions and feedback and thoughts which I’d love to receive.
Visit www.trudyarthurs.com and subscribe for my regular free newsletter – you’ll receive a free Compassionate Confidence e-book when it’s published. Looking forward to connecting with you, really soon.
© Dancing Leopards Ltd 2016