Over the last month, since starting this blog, I have been thinking a lot about setting goals, about progress, about what is too much and what is just being disciplined. I’m not sure whether failing to meet a goal means failure, or whether I should forgive myself and move on. I’m also not sure I understand the fine line between being gentle with myself and being a slacker. As I discussed in my January Check-In, I made a ton of progress last month but I didn’t do everything I set out to do. So should I feel proud or did I let myself down?
With all of this in mind, I was excited to see this article yesterday about giving yourself a break and practicing self-compassion. “It’s easy to confuse self-compassion with self-pity, and to use it as an excuse for self-indulgence or other not-so-cute behavior.” The article says that rather than think of self-compassion in these negative ways, it actually involves taking responsibility for your own behavior and accepting that we’re not perfect and there’s nothing wrong with that.
When I read the five signs that I may be too self-critical, they nearly all rang true for me:
- Nothing is ever good enough.
- Your way is always the right way.
- You ruminate repeatedly over your missteps.
- You see things are black or white but never gray.
- You have an intense feel of failure.
Boom. This is pretty much my brain. And I think some of my resolutions are in line with these, like being less uptight and practicing empathy. This also really spoke to me: “People who are able to change their plans or their outlook more easily increase their self-compassion as well as diminish their levels of stress, depression, and anxiety.” I can’t tell you what a foul mood it puts me in if my plans have to change! It’s one of the biggest issues in my marriage.
Practicing self-compassion is going to be a wonderful tool for me to use in finding balance and making the changes I want to make this year.