4 February 2012

The Power of Self-Compassion: be kind to be more effective

A trying a week had me re-evaluate some of the challenges or projects I would like to take on this year. Having had a rather busy January, I am starting to wonder if I may have set myself unachievable goals. Although achievable, but unachievable in the sense that I may have taken on way more than I will be able to complete this year or that I will complete all of them but have left no room to actually reflect,  which I think is important. One of the biggest obstacles we all come against is ourselves and I have found that over the years I have found myself demanding a ridiculous level of perfection and just really being hard on myself which in turn can be counterproductive.

I used to keep journals a long time ago and a couple of months ago I happened to look through some of my books from university and came across one of my journals from my teens. I read through private thoughts and recalling just how keen I was to study away from London and the all amazing things I was going to do with freedom from prying family eyes. In reading some of the pages I realized that journaling offered a bit more than blogging does, in that because they are private so you can be as honest and cheesy as the moment calls for and talk about any and everything without censoring your written thoughts.

One of the reason I wanted to get back into writing (blogging rather) is that writing is said to “help make emotional transitions and help us process information about circumstances we find ourselves in”. With this in mind, blogging also offers the opportunity to keep track of one’s development as well the ability to be able to easily look through some of the milestones and the process of your journey in reaching your destination; that of the goals or life circumstance you go through. Reading through some of the journal entries brought back memories of a girl that always used to get lost in the clouds. I am a bit of a day dreamer. It was almost like watching a movie of snapshots into my life at different points in my teens into adulthood.

This post has come about because I have had a few anxious moments lately and this may have something to do with the fact that I have been putting a way more caffeine than the law should allow. Nonetheless anxiety has niggled at me and as I have been trying to get back into reading again I came across a line that felt like it was written solely for me at that moment. “Focus on what’s really making you anxious. Perhaps it’s your relationship with your manager, dissatisfaction with your role or even your commute that’s really the problem. Identifying what’s wrong is the first step to conquering that vague but pervading sense of unease.”

Having thought about my recent anxiety, it may be stemming from this business of goal setting. I am surprised at my own mental reaction because I certainly didn’t go through this last year when I was busy making random travel plans on a shoe string budget. I also recognise that as much as each and every one of us can do anything that we set our minds to, we can’t do everything. It’s impossible! With setting goals/projects or challenges I almost forgot one important goal; kindness! Being kind to yourself is important and also makes you more effective in your endeavours. I also came across a post from Susie; a blogger. Her first paragraph read “Being kind to yourself. That is often something we tend to overlook. Or it is usually the first thing to ‘go’ when we are overworked or stressed. We are aware that we need to treat others kindly, but tend to forget that kindness starts at home, and with yourself.” 

With all the plans that you have for the year ahead I hope self-compassion is right at the top of your list.

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