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:
- Reach a bit higher.
- Set short-timelines.
- Forgive responsible failure.
- 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?
“Speak directly. “If you continue to swear at me, I’m going to hang up the phone.”” I like how you indirectly stated that the customer is not always right.
Thanks Patrick. I’m always thankful when people explain ideas that get traction in their thinking. Cheers
Great post. It would be fun to chat about this sometime. Honestly, this is the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur for me. I’m certainly the hardest boss I ever worked for. I’m grateful for many aspects of my aggressive goals and high expectations which are helping me to make the impact I want in the world and to grow the business.
One self care practice I’m really working on is forgiving myself when decisions don’t play out like I would have anticipated. If your running fast and taking risks, sometimes you will be wrong.. And that’s okay, it’s all part of the learning process. I have to remind myself of that often 🙂
How can you care for others if you don’t know how to care for yourself or give yourself permission to care for yourself?
I think of self-kindness as treating yourself as your own best friend. It’s easy to beat up on yourself for your shortcomings and mistakes. When you talk to yourself, talk as if you were talking to a best friend and giving them advice including praising yourself for a job well done.
I struggle with the line: “Forgive responsible failure.” I don’t know what you mean by that word responsible in this, but I think true personal leadership forgives all personal failure. Not to encourage failure, but to encourage the decision to let past stupidity not be in your way to shine today! Sort off…
I’m hearing you Dan, “old school” as well!
I see the personal failure as a lesson and a stepping stone in building ourselves and others, forgiving hard to sell, yet it is a reality that exists. We can be too hard on ourselves as mentioned by many, depends on your Drill Sergeant! Often times we are what we come from hard work ethics stay with us!
Great thoughts on self-kindness! Have you read any of Brene Brown’s books, Dan? She talks about self compassion as one of the guideposts for wholehearted living in The Gifts of Imperfection. Really good stuff.