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Melli O'Brien



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The Link Between Self-Compassion and Success

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today, I'm going to talk about the link

between self-compassion and success.

So I think that on some level we

intuitively understand this link when

it comes to how we treat other people.

For instance, if we're trying to

help someone learn a new skill,

let's say, if you were teaching

a child to ride a bike, when they

make a mistake or get discouraged,

or when they just can't figure it

out, how do we typically respond?

Well, you'd probably offer

kind, supportive words, right?

Probably speaking in a

warm and soothing tone.

If they fall off the bike,

maybe you'd give them a hug

even to at least soothe them.

Then when they recover, chances are you'll

continue to be supportive and encouraging.

You know, really telling them to give

it another go or if they're really

exhausted and really disheartened,

really fed up, maybe you'd suggest

they just take a rest and reassure

them that they can try again tomorrow.

And they will eventually be able to

ride that bike with a little bit more

patience, little bit more practice,

a little bit more persistence.

Now, take a moment to reflect on how

you treat yourself when you make a

mistake, fail or experience a setback.

If you're like most people, you

probably are a lot tougher on yourself.

You know, that inner critic often pops up.

You know, oh, I'm so stupid.

I never get anything right.

Or we start to ruminate about

all our flaws and shortcomings.

Perhaps, we start really having very

deep, doubting beliefs or thoughts.

You know, I'm not smart enough to do this.

I'll never get this.

Now can you imagine if you were saying

this to someone who just fell off the

bike, like you're so stupid, I just don't

think you're a bike riding kind of person.

That's a pretty tough environment

to get back on the bike.


Well, of course, when we speak to

ourselves like that in a harsh and

critical way, it definitely makes it

harder for us to learn from our mistakes

and to stay motivated to try again,

and have the confidence that if we just

keep at it, we will achieve our goals.

So with this in mind, it should come as

no surprise that there's a substantial

body of research that shows that the skill

of self-compassion is closely correlated

to three key skills that lead to success

- resilience, the ability to recognize and

learn from our mistakes, and the ability

to keep motivating ourselves to succeed.

So how can we use self-compassion

to help us learn, grow and be more

effective on our path through life.

Basically, you want to learn to treat

yourself with the same kindness and

encouragement and support that you

would give to a friend, shifting the

inner critic to become more like an

inner coach or a supportive friend.

Now, of course,

self-compassion is a skill.

This does take practice.

But it's really worth the effort.

So instead of being hard on yourself,

when you fail fall, or have a

setback, try to meet each one of

those moments with self-compassion.

And when you do that, you'll be able

to dust yourself off, pick yourself

up again, and try again more quickly.

You'll also be making gains in

inner strength, resilience, and

wisdom every step of the way.

So as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

And let's settle in now

for today's meditation.

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