Your true potential is an existing possibility that needs to be cultivated and nurtured. We all have a purpose for being born. You are not a random accident. Yet, many people do not realize that how we see our self is a huge determinant of whether or not we pursue a higher vision for our life. One of the greatest impediments to reaching your true potential is a lack of self-compassion.

I say this is a little known secret because I noticed a long time ago that people take pride in saying they are compassionate regarding others, but they almost invariably leave themselves out of the equation! What about you? Aren’t you a person? Why don’t you deserve respect and consideration? Many people allow their inner critic to berate them and, in fact, there is this tacit belief running through our culture that humility equals self-deprecation.

Often people assume self-love means narcissism. It does not; narcissism is based in fear, not love. Actually one can be totally insecure and self-loathing and act narcissistic and selfish. Also, narcissists are delusional. Some really may delude themselves into believing that God/Spirit/The Creator made them better than others. That’s their opinion. Let them have it and move on – just don’t buy into it, and you’ll be okay.

In reality, the more self-compassionate you are the more likely you will be compassionate toward others. Brain research shows that we are constantly assigning meaning to our lives. In other words, we are making the story of our life up as we go. Reality is very subjective. When we don’t feel loving about our self, we spend our time – our life – trying to please others, chasing stuff, or staying busy to avoid our feelings. When we feel good about who we are, recognizing that we are growing human beings, and we drop the need to pretend that we have it all together, we can take off our mask and come more boldly from our authentic heart.

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” ~Carl Rogers

Compassion, including self-compassion is so powerful that it is being studied within the realm of neuroscience (Brain). Beating yourself up can cause:

* Stress
* Low self-esteem and low confidence
* Low EQ/EI – (Emotional Intelligence)

Why low EQ? If we are overly self-conscious, insecure, and uncomfortable with our self, we are not in a position to be present to the feelings of others in a way that connects with them. In fact, if you are feeling anxious, others can pick up on your state of energy and not trust you or not understand why they feel uncomfortable around you. It is challenging to be interested in others when your head is full of noise and clutter about what is wrong with you. The tendency is to go into self-protection mode, hence leading to in-authenticity and lack of empathy for others.

You can’t assess how others feel because you are too preoccupied with your own negative thoughts and feelings. We can better grow when we accept our starting point to evolve our gaps in behavior to levels where we prefer to be. We can expand into our true potential and live our purpose to a higher level when we believe we deserve it. After all, what you “do” is not the same as who you “are.”

I know many people think that it is, but that’s the trap. That’s why so many people are human “doing” machines instead of human “beings”; they are too busy trying to “do” to feel good about themselves and feel of value. You are valuable because you exist – period. What you accomplish is a separate issue. So, you are more likely to evolve the clarity and passion to reach your life purpose and true potential when you practice the little known secret of self-compassion. Try it. Your mind, body, and spirit will appreciate it.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at