In this episode, Kristin and Chantal go over self-compassion and why it is important. She encourages people, especially women, to claim their power, which is within us. She wants people to unlearn that self-compassion is not a weakness but a motivator to be more resilient. If people want to get more things done, they should be more self-compassionate. Additionally, Kristin mentions the most effective way to deal with our inner critic is to befriend it so that it is not distractive. Finally, she closes off the podcast with a guided meditation on a Fierce Friend Practice. This is a guided visualization that creates an image where one can call upon their fierce friend, who combines fierceness with tenderness and strength with love.
About Our Guest
Kristin Neff is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s department of educational psychology. She is the author of “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself” and co-written the “Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive”. She also has a new book called “Fierce Self Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness To Speak Up, Claim Their Power, And Thrive.” She has also written numerous academic articles on self-compassion.
Insight from this episode:
—Learn to say no to others and yes to ourselves. This allows us to include ourselves in the circle of compassion and prioritize our needs to avoid drowning.
—If anger is harnessed, it can alleviate suffering and be used for a good cause. Anger helps one to focus and lets people know that there is a problem. For example, the Me Too Movement and Black Lives Matter all started because people were angry.
—Self-compassion gives us the strength to open the pain without being overwhelmed. It is the ability to hold pain with love. It also allows us not to be consumed by things but rather to infuse them and figure them out. It decreases stress, depression, and anxiety.
—People have a dimensional view of self-compassion: it is a weak thing because it has traditionally been viewed as a gender role. However, self-compassion is important because it allows us to heal and not to be overwhelmed.
—Research shows that self-compassion is a powerful coping mechanism. People should stop viewing it as a sign of weakness.
Quotes from the show:
“Even though compassion is part of the female gender role, women have less self-compassion towards themselves than men do. This is because women are socialized to be self-sacrificing, and their compassion is allowed to go outward, i.e., they can help their spouses, children, etc.”–Kristin Neff, Emerging Women Podcast.
“Don’t do things for people to like you; it’s not sustainable. People will not like you anyway. However, with self-compassion, you do not require other people’s approval; this is because you can approve of yourself”–Kristin Neff, Emerging Women Podcast.
“Women are more compassionate to others and not themselves. Tenderness towards self is not intuitive, which is why women are very aggressive towards themselves”–Chantal Pierrat, Emerging Women Podcast.
“Sometimes, to alleviate our suffering, we need to accept ourselves and be open to what is and change something about ourselves. We need to be brave, courageous enough to make a change in our lives”–Kristin Neff, Emerging Women Podcast.
“Some people look at self-compassion as weak because it has mostly been associated with women (who have had less power in society than men)”–Kristin Neff, Emerging Women Podcast.
“We need a balance between tenderness and fierceness. If we have too much tenderness and acceptance without enough fierceness, then we will become complacent, and if we are angry and fierce, we are just adding to the problem”–Kristin Neff, Emerging Women Podcast.
“We feel valuable when we are loved. Let us make our happiness not dependent on our relationship. We don’t need someone else to be more worthy and whole”–Kristin Neff, Emerging Women Podcast.
“When we hold our pain with love, we start being aware, and the awareness becomes infused with love”–Kristin Neff, Emerging Women Podcast.
“The world will be saved by the Western Woman”–Dalai Lama.