The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself



Welcome to untangle so happy to have you here today. Thank you pitcher. Share happy to be here. The i love your work. You've done such incredible stuff. And i just for our audience. I just think this first paragraph in your book was so interesting it starts like this in this incredibly competitive society of ours. How many of us truly feel good about ourselves. It seems like such a fleeting thing feeling good especially as we need to feel special or above average to feel worthy anything else. Seems like a failure. Tell me a little bit about that. And what led you to really do this. Work on self compassion. Yes so i started practicing self compassion. When i started learning mindfulness actually my last year in graduate school. Uc berkeley a man. I did two years post doctoral. Study with one of the country's leading self esteem racers. And i started really becoming familiar with all the research. Showing the downsides of self esteem. It's not a downside of having high self esteem but of pursuing it trying to get it the shenanigans. We go through trying to go good about ourselves compared to others and so i kind of thought that was practicing self compassion and seeing the incredible benefits my personal life and i just thought this is such a healthier way to think about. How did we late yourself. Positively themselves esteem. so that's kind of really would give me the. You might say that confidence to actually start researching self passion. But what's wrong with self esteem. So many parents today want their children to have self esteem and self competence. Tell us a little bit about the difference between self esteem and self compassion right. So there's absolutely nothing wrong with self esteem feeling. You're a person of worth in value. And we definitely want people have a sense of high worth as opposed to 'having themselves and and that's the wellbeing goes about question really. The problem is how people go about getting their high self esteem so for most people s steam involves a process of social comparison. Right so i mean again. If i said patricia your podcast yet savage. How would you feel. You probably feel good about that. Evaluation right asked this kind of the way. The system is stacked against us. We all have to feel average at least in those areas that are important to us to feel like that's just like baseline minimum self esteem. And so we're always comparing ourselves to others. If someone else does something better than we do. We often feel inadequate comparison. The really big problem with self esteem. as it tends to be contingent in other words we only have self esteem roomy succeed. We lose it when we fail so when things are going well for sure we lacquer cells we feel we have value but what happens when we fail. We blow that big job assignment or get rejected soon as fail ourselves esteemed desserts us which is actually precisely when we need that. Self confidence. The most self compassion. It's not about judging yourself positively. It's not saying. I'm a good person. Or i'm better than other people i most great is just about relating to yourself kindly so there is a sense of self worth inheritance self compassion but self worth comes from just being a glide human being where the like all other flawed human beings as opposed in necessarily succeeding or on being better than others. So you're done research showing the sense of self worth linked to self compassion as much more stable over time than just a simple self-worth judging yourself positively but how did we get in this culture to a place where we are so critical of ourselves and where we need to study something like self compassion where it's not a natural characteristic. I'm not convinced that it's just a western cultural phenomena. I mean i think definitely hard in the west because there's so much pressure to compete and succeed. Same thing in east asian cultures with as a lot of pressure to succeed and compete. But i also think there are some natural reasons while we tend to our jump to solve criticism immediately a mess. Basically that when we feel inadequate in some way or we fail at something we feel threatened and when we feel threatened we naturally have the threat. Defense response right. We want to attack the situation. Get rid of the problems of. You'll safe again. Unfortunately when the problem is ourselves when we attack the threat we actually attack ourselves. So i really do. Think at some level our tendency to to be self-critical is really desire to keep ourselves safe.

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