Self-compassion is the ability to be understanding to yourself and it is fundamental to true Self Belief (believing that you are OK) and also Belief in Others (believing that others are also OK) – one of key elements of mindset of Growth, supporting your resilience, wellbeing, personal and interpersonal effectiveness and so much more (see my other articles in the Mindset Matters series).


Dr Kirstin Neff’s research defines three components of self compassion:

Self-kindness – being kind to yourself instead of being overly critical

Common humanity – acknowledgment that life’s ups and downs happen to all of us

Mindfulness – practice of being present in the moment


Practising and accepting these three components can help you support your Self Belief and your mindset.


“Unfortunately, self-criticism can lead to generalised hostility (toward oneself and others), anxiety and depression; these are problems that can handicap people from reaching their full potential.” Dr Kirstin Neff


Here are six ways to practice Self-compassion:

  • Let go of expectations – acknowledge that everything doesn’t need to be perfect
  • Practice self-kindness – do your best to eliminate any negative self talk
  • Reflect daily on what you did really well – that will help your brain to rewire to notice value that you add
  • Understand the imperfection of humanity – practice gratitude
  • Schedule self-care instead of self-indulgence – slow down and ask yourself, honestly, ‘What do I need right now?’
  • Take a self-compassion break – even an hour spent recharging consciously will make a difference


“Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?” Dr Kirstin Neff


Be well