Success And Self-Compassion Aren't Mutually Exclusive
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Health and Wellness

Success And Self-Compassion Aren't Mutually Exclusive

In an all-or-nothing world, finding balance can seem impossible.

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Success And Self-Compassion Aren't Mutually Exclusive
Tim Marshall

I’m going to say something kind of radical, but hear me out. You can be unashamedly kind to yourself and still be successful without being selfish. It sounds simple, but do you really believe that it’s true? Take a moment and think about it.

Self-compassion is rarely prioritized and is, more often than not, seen as self-indulgent.

Most of what we value is at odds with the advice to be kind to ourselves. When we do allow self-care it is often spoken of sarcastically or blown out of proportion. Because the only way to justify self-love is if it’s ironic, right? #treatyoself

There is a lot of advice out there on how you should live your life. I’d literally have to be five different people to follow all of the self-improvement tips I see on a daily basis. I could fill an encyclopedia with this nonsense, but let’s just focus on the two pieces of guidance I hear most—“work hard” and “take care of yourself”. Both recommendations are valid (great even!), but they rarely coexist nicely. Our culture undoubtedly favors one over the other. Y’all are smart, you know which one it is.

Our society teaches us our self-worth is irrevocably intertwined with career achievements, academic accomplishments, wealth and what we give to others. Not only that, but we are expected to compete with everyone else for the title of being the BEST at everything we try.

If you aren’t above-average, you aren’t working hard enough. You are going to get left behind. You won’t succeed because someone else will be working harder, faster, and better than you. So, stop being a baby and get off your ass and work!!!

We put damaging habits on a pedestal and wear them like a proud badge of honor. How many lunch breaks have you worked through? How many projects have you taken home? How many sleepless nights have you bragged about?

This kind of behavior is a poor motivator and encourages burnout when done repeatedly. It isn’t compassionate and it isn’t realistic.

Let’s change our perspective. I think most of us understand that we should be inwardly nicer. So, why aren’t we?

When you aren’t reaching your goals, the first thing you throw out is self-compassion because you are putting your worth outside of yourself. All of a sudden, your self-care isn’t as important as your accomplishments.

Being self-loving is simply giving yourself what you need. It’s showing yourself the same empathy you might show a friend or relative or even a complete stranger. Inward kindness is allowing the room you need to heal and grow in the face of hardship. It’s setting boundaries where boundaries are needed. It’s healthy.

Being kind is NOT hedonistic, weak, or selfish. It will not make you lazy. In fact, self compassion is a greater motivator than the negative self-talk we tend to bombard ourselves with in the face of adversity.

When you are self-loving, you give yourself support. If you are supported, happy, calm, and healthy, you have so much more to give to the world. If you are stressed, overworked, burnt out, and unhappy, you don’t have a lot left over to give others or contribute to your goals.

Looking to yourself for the kindness you deserve will better prepare you for the trials and successes of life. So, challenge yourself to start small and take your full lunch break or allow on school/homework/club-free hour everyday.

It’s a big undertaking to decide to be self-compassionate and you won’t always be good at it. But that doesn’t matter. The whole point is to embrace that we’re human and our mistakes, failures, achievements, and skills aren’t defining factors on if we deserve love. Success is fluid, subjective, and may or may not stand the test of time. It is valuable, undoubtedly. But it is not the only thing worth working towards.

So, again,

You can be unashamedly kind to yourself and still be successful without being selfish.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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