Self-Esteem or Self-Compassion?

I’ve spent the better part of the last two years studying self-compassion. In this podcast, Laurie Santos talks to Kristin Neff about why self-compassion is so important. Don’t let the term self-love or self-compassion bother you (I had to work through that, too). But know it is key to having a “fierce tenderness” about the world as you move through it.

Self-esteem in itself is good, but not if it comes at the expense of perfectionism, fear of failure, and an inability to function (all possible). Self-compassion, on the other hand, means to know that we recognize our common humanity, that we all make mistakes, and that we can recognize suffering but move on from it. We must limit self-criticism and embrace a tenderness toward ourselves. Really, it works!

The podcast is worth listening to as Kristen shares her own challenges with being compassionate toward herself as she raised her autistic child.

“Painful feelings are, by their very nature, temporary. They will weaken over time as long as we don’t prolong or amplify them through resistance or avoidance. The only way to eventually free ourselves from debilitating pain, therefore, is to be with it as it is. The only way out is through.”

Kristin Neff