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Let's Chat: Having Your Own Back

You Are Enough Mental Health GIF by YouTube

 

We talk a lot about showing yourself compassion - but what does that actually mean? I know it took awhile for me to understand how to put it into practice. 

 

With that said, we don’t really get taught how to love ourselves at school. Not everyone’s family and/or friends has this conversation. So, we are going to have it. 

 

Self love and compassion can sound a little airy fairy and/or intimidating so lets re-frame it. Here’s a few ways I like to put it: 

 

Being your own best friend 

Having your back 

Standing in your corner 

Holding your own 

Sticking up for yourself (sometimes to yourself) 

 

For me showing myself compassion looks like avoiding harmful self talk, calling myself names and not giving myself a break when I am trying my hardest. If I'm starting to slip, I will actually say my thoughts out loud and ask myself "Would I say this to a friend or family member?" 

 

I try to do this by taking into consideration all the stress I may be going through, reflecting on the things I am doing, accepting that I won’t always be performing at my “best” and I don’t really need to, do be a valuable person. 

 

I want to be totally honest though and say this is a daily practice and like anything, it is something that strengthens over time. Don’t be hard on yourself - this isn’t easy work, but it's worth it. 

 

If you’d like to get involved, please share your tips on how to keep on track with your back. You can also chime in to let us know what part of practicing self compassion is difficult for you - there is space for everyone here to talk about this topic. 

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Re: Let's Chat: Having Your Own Back

@Bre-RO  I think this is such a great topic. I used to be so hard on myself. If I didn't do something perfectly, it was the end of the world. If I only got a pass on an assignment, I would feel really bad about it for days. I didn't like myself at all. I agree that we don't get taught enough about how to improve our self-esteem when we're younger and the pressures from family, friends, teachers and society can be really overwhelming.
Thinking about what I would say to a friend going through the same situation has really helped me. I've also tried loving kindness and self-compassion meditations. Journaling has also helped me. I have a list of challenges I have overcome in one of my notebooks and another page about things I have done well recently.

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Re: Let's Chat: Having Your Own Back

V keen for this chat! Avoiding harmful self-talk is a big one for me too @Bre-RO and I totally agree @WheresMySquishy that thinking about what you would say to a friend can really help put things into perspective. I also think about (which is quite wild because I will probs not be having children for a while), whether I would want my hypothetical future children to hear what I was saying/thinking and wonder about what it might teach them. So i'm trying to actively change my name-calling behaviours like "I'm so clumsy" to "I'm a human who does clumsy things sometimes." 

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Re: Let's Chat: Having Your Own Back

This thread is great! I love your line about not being hard on yourself when trying to implement this because it's not easy but it's worth it @Bre-RO. So true, but also kind of funny? Because it's such an ironic and human thing to be hard on yourself for struggling with not being hard on yourself 😂

 

One way I try to have my own back is pushing past fears to put myself in situations that I think will be good for me. Like applying for jobs I want, signing up for courses I'm interested in, contacting friends when I'm going to be near them to see if they want to catch up... I get a lot of anxiety about those sorts of things, but when I push past that my life tends to progress and improve, so I give myself encouraging self talk and do it anyway. It's kind of a way of valuing myself and sending positive things my way.

 

Over the last week or so I've realised that I've got a habit of when I have a thought that's not in line with my values (maybe intrusive thoughts but I'm not really sure) beating myself up over it and feeling really guilty for thinking such a thing. But recently I've realised that thoughts which occur in the privacy of my own brain hurt no one and I can actually just move on which is a really freeing thing.

 

I also found this picture which describes a creative technique someone else has found for having their own back which I really liked:58309e95a09964b4890cd9bd99b47e9d0f1e4386d03a13a1dda1e23dd7e7543f_1.jpg

 

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Re: Let's Chat: Having Your Own Back

This is really insightful @Bre-RO I love the line 'would I say this to a friend or family member?'. I've never really thought about it in this context and think I'm going to try and remember to do this if I start to feel negative about myself. 

I try to not base my value off other people which is extremely hard with social media these days! So I find following body positivity and mind positivity accounts really do help to encourage me to love and accept myself for the way I am! 

It gets difficult to practice this and some days are a lot harder than others, but I've slowly started to realise that this is a journey, and sometimes the best journies take the longest! Woman Very Happy

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Re: Let's Chat: Having Your Own Back

I am loving this thread so much, thanks @Bre-RO !

@hellofriend  I relate massively to the extreme irony in trying not to be too hard on yourself when you're struggling with self-compassion! The human brain can be a strange and ridiculous beast. 

 

I love what you say about pushing past those feelings of anxiety and fears to put yourself in situations that will be good for you - it can be so hard to do, but I definitely regret times when I haven't done something out fear much more than I regret trying things and failing. 

 

@sunnygirl606  I really love the idea of asking "would I say this to a friend or family member" too - it's funny how we can be so much harder on ourselves than we are on the people that we love. It can definitely be a long journey, maybe even a life long one! But it's so important. 

 

For me, one thing I've noticed is that I find it REALLY hard to take a compliment - I think it's because I often feel like I could have done things better, or that I should be better, or that people don't really mean it... and I've realised that a lot of that comes from negative self-talk. So I'm trying to practice saying "thank you!" instead. I'm loving this conversation and reading everyone's insights here - thanks so much to everyone for being so honest and generous. You are all amazing! 

 

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Re: Let's Chat: Having Your Own Back

Reading through this was a really nice way to start the morning. I really love the idea of having the list of challenges that you have overcome @WheresMySquishy 

 

@hellofriend Hahahah I totally see the humor in that too. As I was writing it I had that thought but us humans need reminding every single step of the way to not be hard on ourselves. Also thanks heaps for sharing that pic! I love that idea. 

 

@sunnygirl606 Love what you said about self compassion being a journey (it 100% is) and that the longest journey's are the best ones. I completely agree and can vouch for that - some of the hardest things you do, turn out to be the most valuable lessons in your life. 

 

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Re: Let's Chat: Having Your Own Back

@hellofriend the idea of pushing yourself into situations you know are good for you really resonates with me! I sometimes find myself stuck in staying firmly within my comfort zone but then regretting it in the future when I see other people doing the things I wish I was brave enough to do. Sometimes showing yourself compassion is by pushing yourself to do things your future self will thank you for, even it is stressful!!