How to have self-compassion

How can you be kinder to yourself and show more self-compassion? This month’s expert, Catherine Kell, a trauma-sensitive self-compassion and mindfulness teacher, rounds off the Enough Experiment by teaching us self-compassion


How to have self-compassion

The Enough Experiment is a digital twelve-month column at Psychologies with coach Mandy Lehto. Start anytime.

Each month, we’ll focus on a particular theme and conduct an experiment to see if we can feel better about ourselves in that aspect of our lives. Small changes add up – and I’m experimenting right alongside you.

We’ll be supported by experts via short, informative videos (about 10 minutes), and we dig deeper with questions and prompts from the monthly downloadable worksheet (about 10 minutes).

You’re encouraged to share your questions, discoveries and experiences on The Life Leap club on Facebook.

The real power of this experiment isn’t what happens in the videos or on the worksheets. It’s in how you implement your findings in day to day life.

Catch last month’s experiment with Michaela Thomas on how to feel good enough in your relationship HERE.

Do you need to boost your self-esteem?

Congratulations on reaching the final month of the Enough Experiment! I hope you have some new tools and perspectives that’ll help next time your inner critic gets vocal. We’ve covered a lot of ground, from parenting to relationships to money.

If this is your first month reading, brilliant! Welcome. Start anytime. Pick themes that appeal to you, or work through them all.

If you’re completing the experiment, you might wish to go back to the topics that still feel challenging. These are exercises to be visited again and again until your new skills feel habitual.

In creating this experiment (and doing it alongside you), I expected my self-esteem to improve over months of focused work. Hurrah, it did! What’s more surprising, though, is that my growing self-compassion made self-esteem less of a prerequisite for feeling good enough in my own skin.

You too?

Catherine Kell, self-compassion and mindfulness teacher, explains that self-esteem is often linked to standing out in the crowd for positive reasons, meaning we’re constantly evaluating ourselves compared to others (who’s fitter, more attractive, richer, funnier, more successful, smarter, has more followers?…)

Self-compassion and self-esteem

Self-esteem, by its evaluative nature, fluctuates, and therefore isn’t stable,” she says. Author and teacher, Dr Kristin Neff, aptly calls self-esteem a “fair-weather friend.”

To cultivate a long-term, sustainable sense of good-enoughness, Kell invites us to practise self-compassion instead. “Self-compassion isn’t contingent on the way we look, the money we earn, or the successes we achieve. Self-compassion says we are worthy, no matter what.”

Have your shoulders dropped two inches yet?

Self-compassion lets you off the hook not only of “comparison-itis,” but it also allows you to feel worthy when you make mistakes, feel shame, or fail.

“When we cultivate self-compassion as a practise in our lives, it can actually make it feel safe to fail and be with our own imperfections. That means we’re more likely to reach our goals, to try again, and to take positive action following difficulties.”

Is self-compassion the answer to feeling good enough? And if so, how do you do it?

Let’s find out.

Scroll down to find the video with me and Catherine.

Self-compassion: this month’s experiment

Step 1: Download this month’s worksheet here.

Step 2: Watch this month’s video.

Step 3: Who do you know who’d benefit from “The Enough Experiment”? Share this link.

Step 4: Want more? Find Catherine Kell HERE.

Share your experiences on The Life Leap Club on Facebook, and find me on Instagram.