Running a business comes with a lot of fabulous experiences. And, it also comes with icky experiences. For example, times that include messing up and then feeling bad about yourself or an opportunity that you were super hopeful about, that fell through. These are times when you can really suffer emotionally, physically and spiritually and also the times when you kick yourself…
“Why did I do that?”
“How did I not see that coming?”
“How could I have been so stupid?”
I know. I’ve been there. I’m not a stranger to pouring salt on the wounds of disappointment and discouragement. When I was burning out in 2011, I was kicking myself 24/7 in one way shape or form.
It’s interesting though…
When someone that you love messes up or is feeling discouraged, you likely have compassion for them. You don’t want them to suffer. You feel sympathetic toward them. Perhaps you reach out to them with understanding and concern, and offer a shoulder to lean on.
If you’ve ever consoled a friend because they lost their job or who had a family member who passed away, you know the depth of compassion that you can feel and transmit to others. It’s actually in our nature to feel compassion. It’s what causes us to take care of our children and bond with intimate partners. It is a part of the survival system programmed into the neural pathways of our brains.
So, it’s not a stretch for you to express compassion for others or to express compassion for yourself, for that matter. In fact, you deserve your compassion more than anyone! After all, you are your closest friend and closest relative.
Studies show that acts of self-compassion lower stress hormones and increase stress resiliency (Leary et al. 2007. Self-Compassion and Reactions to Unpleasant Self-Relevant Events. Journal of Personality). So if you need motivation to express compassion to yourself when you are suffering, fall back on the fact that it is actually GOOD FOR YOU!
Self-compassion is simple.
Practice the self-compassion experiment below for a couple of days.
Then, tell me how it went for you in a comment below.