Self-compassion Is Hard

For this article by Jo Ilfeld, Executive Leadership Coach on self-compassion, the image shows a dictionary open to the word compassion

Is self-compassion more important than self-esteem? Well, research shows it can be.

But practicing self-compassion is hard.

On Valentine’s Day this past year, I broke my ankle (better than a broken heart perhaps?), and as I was reflecting back on that time, it made me think about self-compassion.

Self-esteem makes us feel like “I can do this!” whereas self-compassion makes room for self-forgiveness as in, “It’s okay, you didn’t do it this time around but you can still do it in the future.”

On the other hand, however, self-compassion is hard. Despite how much I encourage my clients and MBA students to practice it, it’s hard. As I scooted around on my crutch, it was hard not to get frustrated with myself and all the things I’m not able to do at the moment.

So what can you do when you’re struggling with self-compassion?

Practice gratitude instead. On the days when you’re so mad and frustrated with yourself, I suggest leaning into gratitude instead.

Watch the video to hear more about what I’m grateful for these days while nursing my broken ankle.

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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