Wanting To Do Better
We need self-compassion for our urge to want to do better. It is a rare condition in this day and age to be satisfied with what you have got. And still, people procrastinate on important tasks only to have stark realizations after a couple of drinks or before bed that they want more. Some even contact me directly with these questions. My response is generally to ask them first how well they are taking care of themselves, as this is a necessary precursor to doing more of anything. Almost without exception, people tell me that they are doing a pretty poor job.
Self-Compassion Is The First Step
Self-Compassion is clearly the first step, but you have to be willing to hear that. If on the other hand, you are so focused on things you want right now, I am afraid that you will never get there. Really, you’re only choice outside of self-compassion is to sacrifice everything that you have now to get the things you want. And, if we are being perfectly frank, while you may attain these things, you will also crash, and when you do, you will crash hard.
Can I Make Room For Self-Compassion?
The first question you need to ask yourself if you want to do better is can I make room for self-compassion? If the answer is no, then it will be your job to come back to this question every day. People who have hit rock bottom will probably not need to do this for too long because the body’s need to survive will give them a sense or urgency to try something new. However, if you are still getting by, it is natural to be weary of trying something new. You may fear disappointment, or sacrifice, or failure. Be kind to yourself, when these concerns come up. Self-Compassion is something new. You are right to be skeptical. You should take the time you need getting to know self-compassion, and decide for yourself how and when you want to include it in your life.
Self-Compassion Steps To Keep You Sane, And Satisfy Your Need To Do Better
If you are already ready, this is what you need to do. Get out a pen, and write down (on a notecard) 1 thing in your life that you wish you could do better, 1 thing that you could do without, and 1 way you could be kind to yourself every day. Then, notice the feelings that presents themselves. Notice the thoughts that come up, and how your body feels. Names these feelings, and breathe them in. Slowly breathe out the wish to be free of these fears and discomforts. Allow them to be how they are, and let them pass gently out of your experience. Do something really kind for yourself (e.g., an affirming word: despite the challenges we face, we are here and trying; let out a deep sigh and feel your body lay heavy and relaxed for a moment; give yourself a self-hug).
Now look at your list of three things. Plan 2 minutes to do something for each the next day. Look at the list when you wake up, and then in the evening before or just after dinner. Acknowledge your successes, and where you might be able to be more effectual, then remind yourself that you, your effort, and your experience are more than enough despite your desire to do more.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 241. In The Books.