Mind & Body

Self-Compassion: My Word of the Year

TIMEOctober 8, 2014

I’m savoring Olivia Fox Cabane’s book, The Charisma Myth. It’s like preaching to the converted. We totally see eye-to-eye on so many practices. My favorite: being present is a key to executive presence. Non-verbal communication is SO important… down to wearing clothing to a business meal that’s comfortable— lest you send off the wrong vibe (think hot room, itchy suit).

The Epiphany

As I read about self-confidence and self-esteem, I stumbled upon self-compassion, and I sat up straight. AHHHHHH! This makes so much sense. To be loving of yourself, to treat yourself like you’re human, and foible. “You deserve a break, today” was all this word implies. It shot me back to a vivid scene that took place 10 years ago. I was hurriedly pulling the door to my apartment closed, in the middle of a screaming match with myself, as usual. I stopped— dead stop, and said out loud to myself “you’ve got to stop yelling at yourself, or you’re going to make yourself sick”.  Up until that moment, I had a perpetual fight with myself in my own head. I committed to a truce at that very moment.

A Brand-New Outlook

I love that I now have a word to focus on. Being self-compassionate is NOT letting myself slack off, be lazy, or “get away with things”; it simply means to be proud of the strides I am making, forgive myself when I err, and not expect perfection (it’s a myth).

I’ve grown much since that day in my doorway, both in how I treat myself and how I try and treat others. 2013’s word of the year was ‘courage’. In 2014, it’s still ‘compassion’. Join me in being forgiving of yourself, treating yourself kindly, and even cheering yourself on….when warranted, of course.

This article was originally published on Women Advancment Compact

*Image of “buddha statue” via Shutterstock