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E36: Kristin Neff on Regular Old Self-Compassion and Fierce Self-Compassion

In this episode, Sarah and Jacob discuss why we criticize ourselves and why we rather keep this habit instead of being compassionate towards ourselves. Could it be that on a deep level we do not want to give up our self-judgemental thoughts because we believe they are what in fact is keeping us from experiencing something bad in our lives? Sarah and Jacob also cover the many reasons why self-compassion can be just plain uncomfortable to practice. Sarah also shares the work of Kristen Neff, especially her thoughts on whether or not it makes sense to be both angry and self-compassionate. And how self-compassion differs between genders.

Three reasons why we cringe when we give ourselves self-compassion.

Myth #1 Some people do not want to use self-compassion because they believe it's saying, “My problem is more important than other people's problems.” That’s not true. Giving yourself compassion is simply saying, “I am experiencing difficulty but that doesn’t mean my difficulty makes me less loveable, worthy or connected. I love and accept myself with my difficulty and know I will get through it.”

Myth #2 Some people do not want to use self-compassion because they think it will make them weaker in some way--make them less ambitious. The research shows that that's not true. When we are self-accepting, we have more energy and creativity to put toward our pursuits.

Myth#3 Some people think being self-critical comes with benefits, such as protecting ourselves from pain and suffering. In the long run, being self-critical is what causes much or our pain and suffering. However, we live this way because we learned to criticize ourselves as a child to avoid the pain and suffering of being criticized by our parents. Which might have worked back then, but we are grown now, there must be a better way.

Learn more during our episode, “Kristin Neff on Regular Old Self-Compassion and Fierce Self-Compassion”. The Aware Mind, found on any podcast app.

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