Rosie Waters
Rosie Waters
  • How do you treat yourself when you make a mistake or when you fail at something? How kind are you towards yourself when things don’t go well?
  • Do you beat yourself up? Criticise and judge yourself for failing? Are you very hard on yourself?
  • Do you impose impossible standards on yourself and then beat yourself up for not being perfect?

Many people can show compassion towards others but are unable to give themselves the same treatment.

This can stem from feelings of unworthiness or from a deep sense of not deserving care or kindness.

It can stem from an internal critical voice, which may have arisen in response to how you were treated as a child when you made a mistake or failed.

As children we internalise the way we were spoken to and we tend to speak to ourselves in this same way as adults.


Self- compassion is about treating yourself with kindness when things go wrong. Next time you notice yourself speaking to yourself in a harsh, unkind way, stop and notice.

Imagine how you would treat your best friend if they were in the same situation, how would you speak to your friend,

What would you say?

What tone of voice would you use?

Chances are you would speak kindly, gently, offering encouragement and support. Why not extend the same treatment towards yourself in times of difficulty?

Self- compassion is about accepting your human-ness and accepting that sometimes you will fail, and you will make mistakes, but that is OK, so does everyone else. Mistakes and failure are part of being human.

Self-compassion is not the same as pitying yourself or being self- indulgent. These things may bring short term relief but are self- defeating in the long run. 

Being compassionate towards yourself means thinking about the bigger picture, it’s about taking care of your health and wellbeing over your life span.

It means you care enough about yourself to treat yourself with kindness and understanding.

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