The Truth About Self-Kindness

It’s hard for me to believe that I’m even thinking about self-kindness.

I’m old school. Words like self-love and self-kindness set me on edge. We need responsibility and hard work, not self-kindness. Us old schoolers don’t need self-kindness. It’s for the weak.

I’m not saying it’s right. It’s just inside me.


My thinking changes when I realize that high performance requires eating right, knowing my peak performance rhythms, honoring my strengths, and challenging myself.

Self-awareness is useless until it includes taking care of yourself.

Passionate full engagement is self-kind:

Any form of self-kindness that ultimately aims for ease is gift wrapped self-sabotage.

It’s unkind to yourself when you aim low, give up easily, and bring half your heart.

There’s nothing satisfying about half-hearted effort. 

Self-kindness includes self-respect. Sweaty effort is how we learn to respect ourselves.

Leaders with self-kindness:

  1. Reach a bit higher.
  2. Set short-timelines.
  3. Sweat.
  4. Forgive responsible failure.
  5. Start again. Success is built on second chances.

Meaningful satisfying work requires full engagement. 

Self-kindness sets you up for maximum success.

Be kind to yourself:

#1. Extend your effectiveness.

Sustained efforts to reach high requires self-kindness. Think sleep, for example.

#2. Deal with difficult issues in a timely manner.

Delay increases anxiety and stress. Putting off a tough conversation isn’t kind to anyone, including yourself. 

#3. Reject rudeness – expect courtesy.

Don’t let others – even customers – treat you with disrespect or rudeness. Consider a rude customer who swears at you. Customer service isn’t elevated when you let someone treat you with contempt.

  • Speak kindly. “Mr. Customer, I want to resolve your concern.”
  • Speak directly. “If you continue to swear at me, I’m going to hang up the phone.”
  • Make allowances. “Would you like me to call you back to discuss this issue later today?

What, if anything, concerns you about self-kindness?

If you were going to be kind to yourself, what might you do?