Why self-compassion? (1)


So far we’ve looked at what self-compassion is, and you’ve explored your relationship with it. Over each of these next few posts, I’m going to offer a ‘why do or be self-compassion’ and offer a simple self-compassion exercise.

I’ll also start to refer to self-compassion as SC, to save time!  Why do SC?   So many great things come out of being and doing self-compassion.

Has your head ever felt like it’s going three rounds with a heavyweight boxer, arguing against itself, knocking your confidence, criticising you, knocking your tenuous hold on self-kindness, making you beat up on yourself?

Well. Here’s my personal top reason for being self-compassionate.

Your head makes a shift from slippery heavyweight boxing opponent to a supportive, trusted, kind loving friend.

  • You speak to yourself in gentle ways, and allow yourself to be aware that “I did the best I could in that given moment with the knowledge I had at the time”.
  • You offer You support and encouraging words.
  • You change the haranguing, aggressive tone of voice in your head who’s scrutinising your every move, and you speak to You in a calming, supportive way, as you would to a girlfriend if she were in bother.

Most of us work better when someone believes in us.   Let that someone be you.

Simple self-compassion exercise for you:  time needed: 3-5 minutes. Inspired by the wonderful Kirstin Neff.

Bring to mind a current life situation that is causing you disturbance and stress. Become aware of how strongly/if you feel the stress and emotional disturbance in your body. Where do you feel it?

Now, say to yourself:

This is uncomfortable / this is sore / this is stressful. (choose one)

Suffering is part of life, this is simple common humanity.

Say to yourself (even though you may find it difficult to believe right now)

Other people feel this way / I’m not alone in feeling this way / Everybody has some kind of struggle  (choose one)

Now, placing your hands gently over your heart, feel the energy and warmth. If you’re in a situation where you can’t appropriately put your hands over your heart, simply hold one wrist with the other hand, or place one palm into the other or place your hand on your knee. The key is to make a gentle physical contact.

Say to yourself:

May I be kind to myself

You can also ask yourself, “What do I need to hear right now to express kindness to myself?” Is there a phrase that speaks to you in your particular situation, such as:

  • May I give myself the compassion that I need
  • May I learn to accept myself as I am
  • May I forgive myself
  • May I be strong.
  • May I be patient. 


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