Self-compassion is widely misunderstood and yet it's one of the best tools you have for developing resilience. Self-compassion, quite simply, is treating yourself as your best friend would when times are tough.
When your best friend is struggling, you don't beat up them for making a simple, human error. Instead you say--and sincerely believe--things like, "Accidents happen," "Everyone makes mistakes," and "It's going to be okay."
Do you find it difficult to extend that same grace to yourself? Many people do.
Michele Gaspar joined me to talk about self-compassion and how learning to be comfortable with discomfort can help us grow.
She's a veterinarian who is board-certified in feline practice AND a psychotherapist. (Love of learning is clearly one of her top strengths!)
Michele talked about how common perfectionism is among veterinarians and other animal-care professionals.
Perfectionism often has its roots in childhood. Where you praised for being a "good girl or boy" or were you given the message that you were somehow defective and didn't measure up?
Those messages can make us feel insecure, as though our worthiness is something that must continually be earned. And so we develop a fierce inner critic that guards against any slip-ups for fear that we'll be rejected.
And that would be awesome--if it worked.
Instead, that inner critic often gets nasty and needy. Your brain gets flooded with constant judgments that point out the many, many ways in which you are less than perfect.
And that leads to depression, anxiety, imposter syndrome, and exhaustion. It makes you hypervigilant and even more prone to making errors.
When you are pursuing a goal that can never be reached, it gets harder and harder to keep going.
And every time you stumble, you give that ugly little voice inside your head more ammunition to shout about.
Self-compassion flips this script around. It hears that negative self-talk and gives you the tools to refute it, to acknowledge your strengths and your weaknesses without asking you to reach some unachievable standard of perfection.
And that feels amazing!
Visit Michele Gaspar's VIN listing.
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