You human, you

Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

Recent studies show that self-compassion can lead to self-discipline.

Wait, what?

Need to read that again?

Research suggests that self-compassion can lead to… self-discipline.

That most people are hard on themselves out of fear that they will be self-indulgent if they go easy on themselves.

That they’ll skip the gym if they tell themselves they aren’t fat.

That they’ll binge a whole tub of ice cream if they tell themselves they look good in that dress they wore to work today.

But the research shows that when we just give ourselves a break, we’re more likely to succeed.

To skip the second serving of dessert if we remember that we humans are highly evolved to seek out sugar, salt, and fat.

To actually enjoy a kickboxing class if we remind ourselves that we’re badasses.

To knock that presentation out of the park if we walk in believing that we’re good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like us.

A couple of years ago, my workplace sponsored an executive-led team-building module that included a section on “negative self-talk.” We were tasked with paying attention to how often in a day our inner monologues pointed out inadequacies, or failures, or just downright bullied us.

At 7:13 a.m. the next day, I looked at the clock on my car dashboard as I drove into the office and thought, “Jesus. That’s four. And I’ve been awake less than an hour.”

It was an eye-opener, to say the least. I realized that I talked to myself all day long in ways that I would no doubt reprimand friends, family, or total strangers for speaking to any other human.

I might be an extreme case, I’ll admit. But I bet if you were to take notice, you’d be surprised to find how not-nice you are to yourself in a day. And particularly in this time of a global pandemic, we need to go easier on ourselves and others more than ever before.

So give yourself a break. Self-compassion is a part of human compassion (and, I mean, if you’re reading this, you’re probably human, right?) So remember when you’re feeling inadequate that there are an awful lot of humans out there. You’re probably not the first one who’s ever felt this way.

Just give yourself a break, you human, you.

Favorite topics: politics, mental health, travel, business/the office, humans, dogs, empathy, pop culture, movies, books, TV, plays, theatre.

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