Here Are 3 Questions to Ask Yourself for More Self-compassion

Sometimes, we get stuck on the things we believe we should be doing. And likewise, we don't acknowledge the progress we've already made. But in the midst of making progress, at times we need to just be and exist. What about when we need to be still instead of making onward motion? That's where self-compassion comes in. Self-compassion is required for resting, reducing self-imposed pressure, and having kind thoughts towards oneself. But, of course, this is easier said than done. So, here are three questions to ask yourself to get started on your self-compassion journey.

Am I blaming myself for something over which I have no control (Matin, Anthony, PhD)? 

Sometimes we take on too much responsibility, and we have a hard time understanding that certain things are not our fault. Many clinicians assert that this is an attempt to have a sense of control. But on the other hand, it can also be the result of being around people who do not validate your feelings, point the finger at you unfairly, or have unrealistic expectations of you. 

When we internalize this treatment, we can start to self-blame. And when we feel guilt, this can lead to striving for perfection or depriving ourselves. 

Upon having these feelings, it's important to assess whether or not you truly had control over what you're blaming yourself for. If not, it's still okay to be upset, but it's important to pause, process what you're feeling, and nurture yourself with rest or doing something that relaxes you.

It's also important to think about if there are people around you who disrupt your ability to self-nurture. 

Are the rules for myself harder than my rules for others?  Do I have one set of rules for myself, and another set of rules for other people (Matin, Anthony, PhD)? 

In this competitive society, it seems like being hard on yourself is actually rewarded for some reason. But, putting limits on self-imposed pressure is an important practice, especially when you hold yourself to a different standard than others. This can open us up to not receiving the same treatment we give others on a normal basis. 

But, aside from relationships, this can also affect our daily lives. Yes, there are times when hard work is definitely a positive, but you have to make time to stop. Imagine a car engine that is always running and never turns off. What's going to happen? 

So, you have to come to a full stop, and catch your breath. And this should be a constant routine, not only when you're exhausted. Even if you're not burned out, it's a fact that you will need intervals where you're not working as much.

You will always need time to just be.

What would be the benefits of relaxing a specific standard or ignoring a rule that I have (Matin, Anthony, PhD)? 

So, even if you have a high-intensity schedule, or you're in a profession that requires high standards. Does this have to apply to your personal life? You don't have to be the perfect partner, daughter, son, or parent. You can still be you and live with good intentions without holding yourself to a standard of perfection.

And think to yourself, what would happen if I made some things more relaxed in my personal life? You may notice that things carry on as they normally do. You may also notice that you have more energy and breath and that self-compassion is your right.

Written by Kerri Hardy