Issue 10 of What Secure People Know
It's time to put self-compassion into practice. Think about something that is weighing on your mind right now. It could be stress at work, relationship issues, a misunderstanding between you and a friend, health issues and so on.
If it’s difficult to write self-compassionately to yourself, try to pretend that you are comforting a close friend, someone you respect and like.
1. Start by describing how you feel:
“I feel angry, sad and frustrated when I don’t reach my goals at work. I work all night to catch up, and it’s exhausting.”
2. Now, write something about understanding why you feel the way you do:
“My workplace is very fast-paced, and I’m the kind of person who has always wanted to perform well.”
3. Go back in time and think about whether any previous experience is influencing how you deal with your situation today:
“I come from a family of high achievers where I needed to be the best in school in order to receive affection and love from my busy parents.”
4. Think about how you could think in order to activate the soothing circle:
“Being new at a job is always tough, and I do my very best to keep up with what’s required of me. It’s only human not to be able to perform at your best every day. No one else does, either. I still deserve to relax at night.”
5. Write down what you need right now in order to feel a bit better:
“Right now, I can think about the fact that I’m doing my best, and that I can’t do any more than that. I can think that it’s not all that strange that I feel this performance anxiety, considering my upbringing and the fact that I’m working along other high-achievers.”
6. Write down what general changes you could make:
“I could stick to my working hours and turn off my computer at 6 pm. I could schedule a date with a friend this week to help get some perspective on things. I could make sure to eat and rest regularly, even when I haven’t finished a work task.”