Self Esteem vs. Self Compassion

by Sep 21, 2018

Self esteem seems to be a challenge for us all.

We all struggle with invasive thoughts about our performance in any arena, but the workplace tends to be one that everyone can relate to. Everyone experiences stress about their performance level, quality of work, and even how well-liked they are in the office.

At the end of the day, we all logically know that most of the time, we’re overthinking it. What’s worse is that if these thoughts are pervasive enough, they can begin to actually affect our work and how we interact with others, and it’s usually in a negative way. Stress tends to breed more stress.

So how can we snap out of the low self esteem cycle? Eric Barker shares some insight on how to do just this in his article here. He says it well himself:

Life can be hard. And who is usually hardest on you? Yourself. There’s that negative voice in your head criticizing you. And sometimes you can’t shut it up.

Barker’s approach isn’t necessarily to just boost your self esteem; he thinks that first you have to boost your self compassion, and then the self esteem will come after. Having self compassion means that you aren’t so hard on yourself when you make a mistake. After all, we’re all human and all of us make, and have made, many mistakes in our lifetimes. As Barker says:

Stop lying to yourself that you’re so awesome. Instead, focus on forgiving yourself when you’re not.

Because all of us are awesome in many ways, but none of us are 100% awesome. That’s because we’re human beings. Research has shown that when you have compassion for yourself and forgive yourself when mistakes are made, you’re way more likely to bounce back quicker, because you see yourself as human too.

Image retrieved from Pixabay under the public domain.

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