Self-compassion is your secret superpower. Research shows it can have a significant positive impact on your mental health and overall wellbeing. Individuals who are more self-compassionate tend to have greater happiness and less anxiety and depression. It can help you tackle low self-esteem and there are other benefits too…
Yes, you read that correctly. Self-compassion is the perfect antidote to perfectionism. Why? Well, when they struggle, fail, make a mistake or feel inadequate, perfectionists excel at ignoring their pain and berating themselves. Self-criticism is their default.
Self-compassion, on the other hand, involves being kind and understanding towards ourselves, no matter what. It’s the polar opposite of perfectionism and therefore the perfect antidote.
Experts use something called ‘the self-compassion scale’ to measure how much self-kindness or harsh self-judgement we show ourselves. So, where do you fall on this scale? How self-compassionate are you?
Read through each set of statements below. Ask yourself whether you tend to behave the way they describe. Focus on how you view yourself rather than how others might see you.
If many of the statements in Group A resonate with you, it could be a sign you are low in self-compassion and need to work on being kinder to yourself. You can learn about cultivating more self-compassion here. If the statements in Group B better describe your behaviour, congratulations, you are already showing yourself some compassion.
Regardless of your result today, I’d encourage everybody to complete Dr. Kristen Neff’s more detailed Self-Compassion Test to find out exactly where you are on the scale. Neff has also published some useful guided practices and exercises to help you on your self-compassion journey.
I send a fortnightly newsletter designed to encourage you to be kind to yourself and embrace your imperfections with self-compassion. You can sign-up here. I also share tips and advice to help you cultivate self-compassion on my Instagram page, the.perfectionism.therapist.