Why Self-Compassion Is More Important Than Self-Confidence

Self-compassion is more important than self-confidence or self-esteem in having a thriving life.So much press on self-esteem.  And so little evidence that self-esteem predicts success or mental health.  A higher-than-average level of self-esteem is, however, associated with juvenile delinquency and narcissism.

Then why do we find schools, parents, and other organizations focused on building self-esteem in ourselves and our children?

There is something else that has been demonstrated to help with mental health and well-being.  That “something else” is self-compassion.

When things are tough, do you give yourself a break?  Not “let yourself off the hook,” but remind yourself that you are doing the best you can?

My guess is you have the same thing in your mind that I do:  a critical voice that is happy to point out my shortcomings and foibles.  You might even listen to the same critical voice that you would tell a friend to ignore.

Self-compassion is about understanding that you (and others) do the best you (and they) can do, given current state-of-mind and situations.  Instead of listening to the critical voice, how about the loving voice that knows you are, like it or not, human.  And that you are trying.

This is not about saying “I have no need to change, here I am.”  But it is about saying, “here I am, and I need to accept that.  I need to give myself a break!”

Learn about self-compassion — what it is and how to extend it to yourself.

Curiosity And That Cat: Killer or Thriver?

Curiosity did not kill the cat.  It helped the cat to thrive!Does “curiosity kill the cat?”  Hardly.  In fact, that is a mis-quote.

The actual quote is “care killed the cat.”  And that is probably MUCH more accurate these days!

Yet that same phrase about curiosity and death has been used to shut down the curiosity of many children and adults.

Too bad.  I would argue that curiosity is a cornerstone of a thriving life.  It leads us to new and different places.  It pushes us to take on challenges and to learn new things.  It stretches us beyond the current stuck place.

Curiosity is central to thriving MORE in life.  If you have forgotten how to be curious, listen in as we discuss just how important your curiosity can be.

Extend Your 3 Horizons to Thrive

Extend your 3 horizons to really thrive.Sometimes, the horizon can seem to stretch in front of us forever.  Sometimes, it seems that we are smack up against the world.  We can’t see beyond where we are.  We can’t see past our problems and struggles.

Time to extend and expand your horizons.

There are three horizons we can all expand:  our problem horizon, opportunity horizon, and growth horizon.

When we can’t see past our problems, our problem horizon is limited.  At those times, you can believe that there is nothing on the other side of a problem or situation.

Sometimes, we just can’t see any opportunities.  Our opportunity horizon is too small, too close.  There seems to be no options, no possibility, no opportunities.  At the same time, others are seeing an opportunity everywhere.  The difference is their opportunity horizon.

And there are times when we just don’t believe we can grow and change.  Our change horizon is too small.  Maybe you tell yourself that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  But in reality, we are ever-changing and ever-growing.  The question is only on how intentional we can be about that growth.  Do we embrace change or run from it?  Do we see our place of growth, or hide from it?

Learn more about your 3 horizons.  And then learn 5 steps to expanding and extending your horizons.


3 Thoughts You Need To Drop

3 thoughts you need to drop:  "I'm not good enough," "life isn't fair," and "it's not my fault."All day, our minds are throwing us thoughts, waiting to see which ones we bite.

And boy, do we ever bite!

We keep on repeating those thoughts, telling ourselves the same lines and stories over and over.  Pretty soon, we forget it was just a passing thought and believe it is the truth.

Some of those thoughts just get us stuck.  We believe them to the point that we can’t get moving.  More than that, the thoughts give us reasons and excuses to not get moving.

Today, I tackle biggies.  These are three of those repetitive thoughts that keep us stuck, and allow us to stay stuck.  Here they are:

  1. “I’m not good enough.”
  2. “It’s not my fault.”
  3. “Life’s not fair.”

Sound familiar?

They certainly sound familiar to me!  I have said all of them to myself.  I have even gone looking for proof.  Only to find that they just keep me stuck.  They don’t help or serve me.  They just keep me from taking action.

How about you?

What Thrivers Do: They Grow

Thrivers grow, throughout life, learning from difficulties.Are you growing?  Maybe you feel “all grown up.

But that’s not what I am asking.  Are you “done,” or are you in a process of becoming?

People who thrive continue growing.  It is not about always being happy, but forever growing and developing.

When the goal is “happiness,” we can get stuck.  But when you know the task is to continue to grow, there is always room for that.

Thrivers nurture their curiosity.  That helps them continue to expand their world.  It opens before them.

Thrivers know that, while crises don’t happen in order to teach a lesson, one can still learn the lessons from the struggle.  Growth is all about being open to the lessons.

How’s your Growth Quotient?


Make An Impact

Make an impact!  You were designed for that.It is my observation that humans are designed to make an impact, to make a difference, in the world.

It is also my observation that, when we stop making an impact, we start acting in unhealthy ways.  Addictions are fueled by a lack of making a difference.  It leaves a hole that people seek to fill with unhealthy options.

People become despondent, depressed, and hopeless.  Quickly, the world looks like a hostile place, full of greedy people who are only out for themselves.

That often ends up only being a reflection of what we most fear.

The amazing thing about making an impact is the ripple effect.  Wherever you start, the effect begins to grow, often in exponential ways.  You start making an impact in your own life, and it grows.  Perhaps you start making healthy choices.  Those choices lead to other healthy choices.  People around you notice, and they begin to make healthy choices.  People around them do the same.  It grows, it ripples outward.

Or perhaps you start to volunteer somewhere, start making a difference in the lives of the people of that organization.  Their lives change.  They begin changing other lives.  The ripples go on and on.

When we don’t make an impact, but only stay in our comfort zone, the waves crash in on us, pushing us down.

But the way out from under is one thing:  action.  Not a “change the world” action, but a small action.  One that grows.  Soon, your impact is growing.

Join me in this podcast, as I discuss how thrivers make an impact!

Be Courageous: What Thrivers Know

Be courageous.Are you courageous?  If you are like most people I know, you will tell me you are not.  “Not me,” you will say, “I am too afraid to be courageous.”

I would remind you that if you are afraid, you are half-way to courage.  The only element missing is acting.

If you do something and are not at all fearful, then that is just doing something (and likely not anything particularly important).

But if you are feeling fear, and you choose to take action anyway, then you have acted courageously.  More than that, you are probably doing something important.

Too often, we use fear as an “avoidance indicator.”  Really, it is an “importance indicator.”  What is most important to you likely exists just on the other side of your fears.  Act in that direction.  Be courageous.

Listen to learn how.


Act On Your Convictions

Thrivers act on their convictions.We all move through life, either purposely choosing a direction, or allowing the vicissitudes of life to push us along.  Either way, we are making a choice.  We are either choosing our directions or choosing to let ourselves be moved about.

Thrivers make a choice to move through life based on their convictions.  Their moral compass guides them through choosing directions.

Some people have described this as “what you do when nobody is looking.”  While this is true, it is also what you do when everybody is looking!  When the pressure is on to go in a certain direction, do we choose to follow our convictions or follow the crowd?  When we have a personal choice, do we follow our own internal compass or take the easy choice?

Usually, the seemingly “easy” choice is not.  In the human desire to “not rock the boat,” though, we end up just moving the tough stuff down the road a bit.  And not surprisingly, by the time we get there, the complications have set in.  The tough stuff is tougher.

Thriving is often realizing that going through and dealing with the tough stuff is a crucial part of life.  So, thrivers choose to go ahead and make the tough decisions.  They take responsibility right then, and they make the tough choices — based on their convictions.

Listen for how to act on convictions.

Building A Life Of Meaning And Purpose

Build a life of meaning and purpose.I believe that we, as humans, have an innate need for purpose in our lives.  We need to find meaning in life.

When we don’t, we flounder.  We fill the “purpose hole” with other things.  Addictions, distractions, mid-life crises — all the result of NOT building a life of meaning and purpose.

We yearn for it.  We itch for it.  But most people don’t know how to scratch it.

Humans are Purpose Builders and Meaning Makers.  But we forget.  We chase after the wrong things, aim at the wrong targets — and then wonder why we make a mess of life.

But thrivers know better.  People who thrive have built lives around purpose.  They have discovered meaning in life.

What about you?  Is your life about purpose?  Are you finding the meaning in your life?

Listen to find out how to build more purpose and find more meaning in your life.

Thrivers Care For Themselves

ThriversCareForSelvesYears ago, I was learning all I could about resilience, personal development, and how to thrive.

I forgot one very important element:  my physical health.  My body, it would seem, I just left out of the equation.

My body did send me a loud “wake up call.”  When the doctor told my wife I was headed for disability and eventual death, due to a diagnosis he had made, I woke up.

Well, to be honest, it still took me several months.  During those months, I was just struggling to move forward, one plodding foot at a time.  But about 4 months in, I was starting to get better — and realize I was NOT where I needed to be, physically.

As I discovered, it was my body that needed to cart around my thriving mind.  And, in fact, it was much easier for my mind to be thriving when my body was thriving.

Let me be clear:  this is not about being in optimal, ready-for-magazine cover, shape.  It is about taking care of your body, so that you can truly thrive.  We all have a different level of what is possible.  For most of us, though, there is room for improvement.

Learn about the 4 areas I recommend, and the very simple recommendations I make in this week’s podcast.