“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The above mentioned Golden rule has guided our conscience for many centuries. It tells us to treat others as we would want them to treat us.
If anyone of your friends, relatives or acquaintances is going through an ordeal or going through a rough patch, what will you do? You will offer compassion and kindness, perhaps talk to them with warmth and may also offer some advice on how to overcome the difficulties their current phase of life has presented them.
Now consider how you would treat yourself if you are facing a crisis or if you are battling a major setback in your life. Will you treat yourself the way you would treat others when they are trying to come in terms with their failure? If your answer is ‘no’, then it is time you start practising self compassion.
Self compassion is all about respecting yourself, understanding your limitations and accepting it with humility. It also involves constantly trying to better yourself by self motivation and by learning from past mistakes.
It is natural for most of us to resort to self criticism when we fail at something. The embarrassment and shame of the failure will stop us from thinking straight, where we would even be uncertain of whom we really are. However, it is during such trying times that we need to show more sympathy and kindness to our self. Words and actions that soothe your mind is the way to go.
According to researchers on the subject, an effective practice of self compassion encompasses three main factors.
Mindfulness: You need to be mindful of the fact that you are facing some kind of a struggle or an imminent failure. If you have to effectively practise self compassion, you have to be aware of the difficulties you are facing and you need to align your emotions accordingly. Only then you can make your mind move towards the practice of self compassion.
Common humanity: In order to practise successful self compassion one has to understand that personal inadequacy and resultant sufferings are part of shared human experience. It is a part of being mortal to suffer imperfections and limitations. Instead of feeling frustrated thinking that “I am the only person making mistakes and facing personal sufferings”, understand that it is human to make mistakes and whole humanity suffers from personal failings.
Self-kindness: A warm understanding of our sufferings and failures and kind words to ourselves can go a long way in practising self compassion. Instead of ignoring our pain or resorting to self criticism, understand that imperfections and life sufferings are inevitable and facing them with equanimity will only bring probable success in the future.
So next time when you are confronted with failure and self doubt, practise some self compassion instead of going for self pity and self criticism. Accept that you have a problem, understand that failures are inevitable in human life, soothe yourself with some kind words, learn from your mistakes and improve yourself as a better human being.
As we started with a positive universal dictum, let’s conclude with an optimistic one as well.
“Failure is the stepping stone to success.”