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Self-compassion

Self-compassion is a way of viewing oneself under challenging times. It involves taking a kind, non-critical, and accepting stance towards perceived difficulties, seeing flaws and mistakes as part of the human condition, and taking a balanced view of emotions. For example, someone who loses their temper might recognise that this happens to many people and does not mean that they are a bad person. Someone who misses a training run might accept that this is a natural part of the process of preparing for a marathon and view it merely as a small setback.


Take a minute or two to think about a goal you are currently struggling with or have lapsed whilst tackling. If you can, write it down too to help reflect on it.


Keep thinking about the struggle or lapse in your pursuit of the goal that you just recalled. Consider the fact that making mistakes and encountering setbacks while working towards goals is very common and something that everyone has experienced at some point. You're not the first person who has lapsed while trying to achieve their goal, nor will you be the last.

It's very common for people to be hard on themselves in these situations. But being hard on yourself won't change what happened and may make things worse. It can cloud you from remembering the skills you have, from seeing other paths available, and from how to achieve what you want. Parting those clouds can be tricky so let us start with this. Take a step back. Try instead to take a balanced perspective on this time and how you felt. Try to be kind, accepting, and compassionate towards yourself about what happened. Something like this,

"I made a mistake, things did not go as well as they could, but that happens."


You've still got the abilities and skills you had before. It isn't about a whole house of cards falling; it is about building on what was already there and still is: you. You are the foundation that already exists. Just keep building. It may take some help but as a human being, that is okay. We all need help from time to time. You don't have to be a slave to the past.


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