Self-compassion is a skill. That means if you don’t have much compassion for yourself, especially when you need it most, there’s a lot you can do to erase the self-doubt and self-criticism and bring in the self-love.

Here are four easy steps that can get you started:

Keep a journal with you and write down every critical, disempowering, or demeaning comment that you tell yourself. Use your journal writing to elicit awareness. Placing your inner voice into the external world provides perspective and the ability to make a different conscious choice.

Practice Self-Supportive Thoughts
Once you become aware of unsupportive thoughts and feelings, you can teach yourself to feel more self-compassion by utilizing self-supporting self-talk. This type of thinking skill strengthens the core of who you are. It replaces self-defeating thoughts with realistic (not just positive) statements.

1. Acknowledge the truth of how things are for you right now.
2. Validate your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
3. Take a breath and recognize the truth about how well you really are handling this difficult situation.
4. Give yourself motivation but keep it believable.

When you breathe consciously and deeply you are saying yes to life, yes to your own physical experience. Deliberate breath is the choice you make to be alive, to be you, and to be connected to your senses. Breathing settles the body by reducing sadness, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, muscular tension, and stress. It can also help quiet the chaos of your mind. Now you can tap into the center of your being. Who you are is love. Take a breath and instead of recycling self-critical thoughts, allow in peace, calm, and a sense that everything works out for your highest good.

Expect More Out of Your Self
Putting yourself down may be a habit, but perhaps it’s time to ask yourself to step up to the plate and give yourself what you really want?which is compassion. It’s your job to love and support yourself, especially when things seem at their darkest.

Yes, expanding self-compassion requires choice, effort, and persistence. However, allowing yourself to experience love from the inside out is not something that someone else can do for you or give to you. Only you can make the choice to fill your life, body, mind, and spirit with the love of who you are!

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