Self-Talk To Boost Self-Compassion

Are you frustrated with your performance at work, or do you stress about your lack of work/life balance? Have you ever thought, I’m not good enough for (insert comment here)? Unfortunately, these are common frustrations, as the pressure from family, career, personal and social aspects of life can lead us to feel down and deflated.

Whilst there is often no quick fix to relieving stress, research shows how kindly you treat yourself when worries pile up, impacts how you feel and might determine how quickly and happily you come out the other side. Self-compassion expert Dr. Kristin Neff, has been writing and researching on the topic since 2003 and defines self-compassion as how gently we treat ourselves when things go wrong. She states there are six factors of compassion:

  • Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment
  • Feeling integrated within the human experience vs. Feeling isolated
  • Mindful witnessing of struggles vs. Spiralling self-made stories

The key to treating yourself more kindly is self-talk, that internal dialogue and ongoing conversation in our minds. To raise your compassion, it’s important to be mindful of this internal dialogue and jump in with friendlier talk when negative talk occurs. Swapping negative talk for positive talk leads to more self -love, self - esteem and also promotes positive thinking, improves your physical health by increasing health-promoting behaviours and makes it easier to deal with trauma and chronic health issues.

Here are some suggestions for a few internal phrases that might be familiar:

Instead of

Try saying

I’m not good enough I’ve come this far, and with some effort I can keep going.

I can’t believe I did this again; I’m so dumb

It’s OK that I made this mistake, I’m human.

I need to get this done, or else…

I’ll do my best. I can do it

Show yourself some kindness and acceptance when the pressure is on and you’ll find the resilience you need to handle what life throws your way.

Curious about the state of your self-compassion? Take this quiz to learn more.