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.
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