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Won’t Self-Compassion and Acceptance Take Away My Ambition to Improve Myself?

Rhonda shares how self-compassion is a loving alternative to the negative voice of the inner critic.

Hello again, this is Rhonda Magee, and I've been asked to answer the following question. Won't self-compassion and acceptance take away my ambition to improve myself? Won't it take the pressure off, maybe other people if they practice self compassion, so that they won't be motivated to keep working on themselves when they need it? Well, this is a kind of question that lots of people worry about. And so if you're thinking about this, again, you're not alone. A lot of people think that self-compassion will somehow take away the incentive that we have to work on ourselves. Actually that incentive is often a kind of harsh inner critic.

But it's a harsh inner critic that we've relied on in some times of our lives to kind of keep us moving forward and, you know, humble, in a certain sense. So I get it. It can seem counter-intuitive, this idea that being good to ourselves would somehow be important to the work of improving ourselves and working to make ourselves just a bit better. And frankly, I'll say, this is why I was not only surprised, but heartened to learn that research is confirming that in fact, it's true. Being self-compassionate actually tends to help us with the difficult work of working on ourselves.

In that sense, self-compassion is actually this sort of hidden support for behaving more ethically, in more values-aligned ways, and staying in the work of looking at the things that are hard for us to look at. And you know, coming back again and again, the kind of work we need to do sometimes to make ourselves the better people we want to be. So, yeah, according to research, and again, this, this is, you know, not necessarily obvious, but this seems to be so because by releaving that inner critic, by kind of letting that inner critic go off to one side, just for a little while, we open up space for change. We open up space for admitting that we too have work to do. And we do it in a way though, that allows us to feel that we nevertheless, still are worthy people.

Right? Just because we have something to work on, doesn't mean we're sort of, you know, due to be thrown outside of the circle of human loving concern and community. And so it, it just turns out that being compassionate with ourselves actually is the hidden kind of first step to making lasting change. It's the, really the best support for actually admitting that we have work to do and knowing that we're worth the effort to do that work. So if you're worrying over this, just notice that this sort of worry is, well, it's another example of what we call a hindrance or an obstacle to just feeling the liberationist or liberatory potential, if you will, the freedom inherent in being mindful. In fact, this kind of obstacle is something we can just practice with.

We can, for example, right here, right now, take a deep breath. Ha. And notice on the out-breath ,the ease, a sense of potential relaxation. So another breath. In.

And on this out-breath, just imagine dropping the worry just for a moment, because it is a worry. This idea, if I'm self-compassionate, I might not be able to keep working on myself. And practice letting go of that thought, letting go of the worry. And instead opening up with a little bit of curiosity. Might it in fact, be possible that the story that you're carrying, that any one of us might be carrying, that, you know, if we are self-compassionate, we're not going to work on ourselves, that it might just be a story? That it might not actually be true? In fact, you might pause and allow yourself to inquire.

What if in fact the story you're telling yourself, isn't true? What if you're wrong about it? Haah. Just being curious. We don't really know. We might actually be willing then, from this place of curiosity, to explore what we might be holding on to when we hold on to you know, one view of what is so without being open, at least, to exploring with curiosity, what actually might be there. In fact, we might be sensing some kind of payoff to holding on to some idea that we have kind of gotten committed to.

In this instance, and in many other instances in our lives, sometimes feeling like we already know, it's just one of the many little tricks we have for not opening up to uncertainty, for not really realizing that we too can grow and change. And so we might inquire what might it feel like to actually consciously and intentionally move toward openness, move into a place of willing, being willing to not know and being willing to learn. So just take a few moments and sit in the, the spaciousness of this invitation to actually turn toward not knowing with courage, with openness, with curiosity, the kind of joy that comes from seeing something new within our own selves. And as you don't have to know in this moment what will work or just how it will work, you know, you don't really have to. This is not a test.

You don't have to have all the answers right here, right now. What we're asking for simply is that curiosity. And if you can give yourself permission to be curious, permission to practice and to see for yourself what might come of it, that permission is a tremendous gift that we give ourselves whenever we seek to learn something new. Thank you so much for your practice. I wish you well as you explore being with the uncertainty that exploring self-compassion might present for you.

Be kind to yourself as you open up to your own questions and allow yourself the freedom to begin to explore, to practice. And know that as you open up to all of this, you're not alone. I'm right here. And there are so many different ways that this practice will support you in your own journey from here. Be well, be gentle with yourself, be kind, until next time.

Talk

4.5

Won’t Self-Compassion and Acceptance Take Away My Ambition to Improve Myself?

Rhonda shares how self-compassion is a loving alternative to the negative voice of the inner critic.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hello again, this is Rhonda Magee, and I've been asked to answer the following question. Won't self-compassion and acceptance take away my ambition to improve myself? Won't it take the pressure off, maybe other people if they practice self compassion, so that they won't be motivated to keep working on themselves when they need it? Well, this is a kind of question that lots of people worry about. And so if you're thinking about this, again, you're not alone. A lot of people think that self-compassion will somehow take away the incentive that we have to work on ourselves. Actually that incentive is often a kind of harsh inner critic.

But it's a harsh inner critic that we've relied on in some times of our lives to kind of keep us moving forward and, you know, humble, in a certain sense. So I get it. It can seem counter-intuitive, this idea that being good to ourselves would somehow be important to the work of improving ourselves and working to make ourselves just a bit better. And frankly, I'll say, this is why I was not only surprised, but heartened to learn that research is confirming that in fact, it's true. Being self-compassionate actually tends to help us with the difficult work of working on ourselves.

In that sense, self-compassion is actually this sort of hidden support for behaving more ethically, in more values-aligned ways, and staying in the work of looking at the things that are hard for us to look at. And you know, coming back again and again, the kind of work we need to do sometimes to make ourselves the better people we want to be. So, yeah, according to research, and again, this, this is, you know, not necessarily obvious, but this seems to be so because by releaving that inner critic, by kind of letting that inner critic go off to one side, just for a little while, we open up space for change. We open up space for admitting that we too have work to do. And we do it in a way though, that allows us to feel that we nevertheless, still are worthy people.

Right? Just because we have something to work on, doesn't mean we're sort of, you know, due to be thrown outside of the circle of human loving concern and community. And so it, it just turns out that being compassionate with ourselves actually is the hidden kind of first step to making lasting change. It's the, really the best support for actually admitting that we have work to do and knowing that we're worth the effort to do that work. So if you're worrying over this, just notice that this sort of worry is, well, it's another example of what we call a hindrance or an obstacle to just feeling the liberationist or liberatory potential, if you will, the freedom inherent in being mindful. In fact, this kind of obstacle is something we can just practice with.

We can, for example, right here, right now, take a deep breath. Ha. And notice on the out-breath ,the ease, a sense of potential relaxation. So another breath. In.

And on this out-breath, just imagine dropping the worry just for a moment, because it is a worry. This idea, if I'm self-compassionate, I might not be able to keep working on myself. And practice letting go of that thought, letting go of the worry. And instead opening up with a little bit of curiosity. Might it in fact, be possible that the story that you're carrying, that any one of us might be carrying, that, you know, if we are self-compassionate, we're not going to work on ourselves, that it might just be a story? That it might not actually be true? In fact, you might pause and allow yourself to inquire.

What if in fact the story you're telling yourself, isn't true? What if you're wrong about it? Haah. Just being curious. We don't really know. We might actually be willing then, from this place of curiosity, to explore what we might be holding on to when we hold on to you know, one view of what is so without being open, at least, to exploring with curiosity, what actually might be there. In fact, we might be sensing some kind of payoff to holding on to some idea that we have kind of gotten committed to.

In this instance, and in many other instances in our lives, sometimes feeling like we already know, it's just one of the many little tricks we have for not opening up to uncertainty, for not really realizing that we too can grow and change. And so we might inquire what might it feel like to actually consciously and intentionally move toward openness, move into a place of willing, being willing to not know and being willing to learn. So just take a few moments and sit in the, the spaciousness of this invitation to actually turn toward not knowing with courage, with openness, with curiosity, the kind of joy that comes from seeing something new within our own selves. And as you don't have to know in this moment what will work or just how it will work, you know, you don't really have to. This is not a test.

You don't have to have all the answers right here, right now. What we're asking for simply is that curiosity. And if you can give yourself permission to be curious, permission to practice and to see for yourself what might come of it, that permission is a tremendous gift that we give ourselves whenever we seek to learn something new. Thank you so much for your practice. I wish you well as you explore being with the uncertainty that exploring self-compassion might present for you.

Be kind to yourself as you open up to your own questions and allow yourself the freedom to begin to explore, to practice. And know that as you open up to all of this, you're not alone. I'm right here. And there are so many different ways that this practice will support you in your own journey from here. Be well, be gentle with yourself, be kind, until next time.

Talk

4.5

Duration

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Q&A on Self-Compassion null Playlist · 5 tracks

Q&A on Self-Compassion

Playlist · 5 tracks4.9

More by this teacher

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