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“ I exist as I am, that is enough” – Walt Whitman

I often hear my coaching clients dismissing their accomplishments, and instead focusing on their perceived shortcomings. They might say: “If I were only smarter, or more organized, more productive, or more efficient)”. We often are our own worst critic. It is hard for most of us to show tenderness for ourselves. We judge and criticize our ourselves, which triggers negative emotions, such as anxiety, anger, and frustration. What would it feel like to be more content and kinder toward ourselves, especially when we fail? What would it feel like to honor that we are human and make mistakes? Being understanding, accepting, and loving towards ourselves defines self-compassion. Self-Compassion researcher Kristin Neff says that when we are kind and forgiving towards ourselves, we are happier, healthier, less anxious, and extend more compassionate towards others. Noticing and acknowledging when we are being tough on ourselves is a first step towards being more self-compassionate. Try looking in a mirror and talking to yourself with kind words and no judgement or harshness. Showing self-compassion toward ourselves takes practice.

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