THE UMBRELLA PROJECT: SELF-COMPASSION
WHAT IS SELF-COMPASSION?
Self-compassion is a skill and takes practice! Self-compassion is:
- • The care we offer ourselves when we make mistakes, embarrass ourselves, or come short of a goal we were hoping to achieve
- • Honouring our own humanness and accepting that in life, sometimes we are at fault, and that this is what it is to be human
- • Kindness, care, warmth, and understanding (instead of criticism) toward oneself when faced with shortcomings, inadequacies, or failures
WHY DOES SELF-COMPASSION MATTER? HOW DOES IT HELP US?
Self-compassion can be broken down into 3 main parts that help us in different ways:
1. Self-Kindness vs. Self-Judgment
75% of people treat others more kindly than they treat themselves. Self-compassion is treating yourself with care and understanding instead of harsh judgement. Many people are hard on themselves because they feel it is motivating. Self-criticism actually reduces our self-confidence and perceived abilities, making it harder to get tasks done.
2. Common Humanity vs. Isolation
Common humanity is when we see our experience as part of a larger human experience, rather than isolating or abnormal. It is the recognition that life is imperfect, including us. We have an
assumption that normal is perfect. Therefore, when we make mistakes or fail we feel something bad is happening to us instead of feeling that mistakes are normal and part of what it means to live a human life. This can lead to a lot of unneeded worry and stress and when you treat yourself badly after making a mistake your brain will do everything in it’s power to blame someone else instead of taking responsibility. making a mistake your brain will do everything in it’s power to blame someone else instead of taking responsibility.
3. Mindfulness vs. Over-Identification
Mindfulness allows us to be with feelings as they are instead of trying to change them. It avoids the extremes of supressing our feelings or running away with the painful feelings. Over-identification is when we get lost in the dramatic storyline of the struggle we are going through. We often start having thoughts like “I AM bad” instead of “I DID something bad.”
RESEARCH BASED OUTCOMES OF SELF-COMPASSION
1. Improves wellbeing, happiness, life satisfaction, connection to others, self-confidence, curiosity, gratitude and optimism
2. Reduces anxiety, depression, stress
3. Reduces perfectionism and shame
4. Increases our desire to learn
5. Increases feelings of competence and ability to complete tasks
6. Lowers our fear of failure, and makes us more likely to persevere and try again
7. Allows us to take greater responsibility for past mistakes and a gives us a greater disposition to apologize