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Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
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Self-Compassion Quotes Showing 1-30 of 84
“Compassion is, by definition, relational. Compassion literally means 'to suffer with,' which implies a basic mutuality in the experience of suffering. The emotion of compassion springs from the recognition that the human experience is imperfect.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
“This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Painful feelings are, by their very nature, temporary. They will weaken over time as long as we don’t prolong or amplify them through resistance or avoidance. The only way to eventually free ourselves from debilitating pain, therefore, is to be with it as it is. The only way out is through.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Rather than wandering around in problem-solving mode all day, thinking mainly of what you want to fix about yourself or your life, you can pause for a few moments throughout the day to marvel at what’s not broken.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
“If you are continually judging and criticizing yourself while trying to be kind to others, you are drawing artificial boundaries and distinctions that only lead to feelings of separation and isolation.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
“A Native American wisdom story tells of an old Cherokee who is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Our successes and failures come and go—they neither define us nor do they determine our worthiness.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
“Because self-critics often come from unsupportive family backgrounds, they tend not to trust others and assume that those they care about will eventually try to hurt them. This creates a steady state of fear that causes problems in interpersonal interactions. For instance, research shows that highly self-critical people tend to be dissatisfied in their romantic relationships because they assume their partners are judging them as harshly as they judge themselves. The misperception of even fairly neutral statements as disparaging often leads to oversensitive reactions and unnecessary conflicts. This means that self-critics often undermine the closeness and supportiveness in relationships that they so desperately seek.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Once we start basing our self-esteem purely on our performance, our greatest joys in life can start to seem like so much hard work, our pleasure morphing into pain.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“As the seventeenth-century French philosopher Montaigne once said, 'My life has been filled with terrible misfortune, most of which never happened.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
“Despite the fact we give hurricanes names like Katrina and Rita, a hurricane isn't a self-contained unit. A hurricane is an impermanent, ever-changing phenomenon arising out of a particular set of interacting conditions - air pressure, ground temperature, humidity, wind and so on. The same applies to us: we aren't self-contained units either. Like weather patterns, we are also an impermanent, ever-changing phenomenon arising out of a particular set of interacting conditions. Without food, water, air and shelter, we'd be dead. Without our genes, family, friends, social history, and culture, wouldn't act or feel as we do.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
“It becomes understood that happiness is not dependent on circumstances being exactly as we want them to be, or on ourselves being exactly as we’d like to be. Rather, happiness stems from loving ourselves and our lives exactly as they are, knowing that joy and pain, strength and weakness, glory and failure are all essential to the full human experience.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Remember that if you really want to motivate yourself, love is more powerful than fear.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“as soon as you notice you’re suffering you automatically embrace yourself with compassion.”
Kristin Neff, Self Compassion
“Whenever I notice something about myself I don’t like, or whenever something goes wrong in my life, I silently repeat the following phrases: This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Being human is not about being any one particular way; it is about being as life creates you—with your own particular strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges, quirks and oddities.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. —EINSTEIN, The Einstein Papers”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“The old saying is that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I say f*** that. When life gives you lemons, make margaritas.”
Kristin Neff, Self Compassion
“Compassion is not only relevant to those who are blameless victims, but also to those whose suffering stems from failures, personal weakness, or bad decisions. You know, the kind you and I make every day.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
“Perhaps our behavior becomes more understandable, however, when we remember that just like self-aggrandizement, self-criticism is a type of safety behavior designed to ensure acceptance within the larger social group. Even though the alpha dog gets to eat first, the dog that shows his belly when snarled at still gets his share. He’s given a safe place in the pack even if it’s at the bottom of the pecking order. Self-criticism serves as a submissive behavior because it allows us to abase ourselves before imaginary others who pronounce judgment over us—then reward our submission with a few crumbs from the table. When we are forced to admit our failings, we can appease our mental judges by acquiescing to their negative opinions of us.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“When we’re mainly filtering our experience through the ego, constantly trying to improve or maintain our high self-esteem, we’re denying ourselves the thing we actually want most. To be accepted as we are, an integral part of something much greater than our small selves. Unbounded. Immeasurable. Free.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Exploring Self-Compassion Through Letter Writing PART ONE Everybody has something about themselves that they don’t like; something that causes them to feel shame, to feel insecure or not “good enough.” It is the human condition to be imperfect, and feelings of failure and inadequacy are part of the experience of living. Try thinking about an issue that tends to make you feel inadequate or bad about yourself (physical appearance, work or relationship issues, etc.). How does this aspect of yourself make you feel inside—scared, sad, depressed, insecure, angry? What emotions come up for you when you think about this aspect of yourself? Please try to be as emotionally honest as possible and to avoid repressing any feelings, while at the same time not being melodramatic. Try to just feel your emotions exactly as they are—no more, no less. PART TWO Now think about an imaginary friend who is unconditionally loving, accepting, kind, and compassionate. Imagine that this friend can see all your strengths and all your weaknesses, including the aspect of yourself you have just been thinking about. Reflect upon what this friend feels toward you, and how you are loved and accepted exactly as you are, with all your very human imperfections. This friend recognizes the limits of human nature and is kind and forgiving toward you. In his/her great wisdom this friend understands your life history and the millions of things that have happened in your life to create you as you are in this moment. Your particular inadequacy is connected to so many things you didn’t necessarily choose: your genes, your family history, life circumstances—things that were outside of your control. Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this imaginary friend—focusing on the perceived inadequacy you tend to judge yourself for. What would this friend say to you about your “flaw” from the perspective of unlimited compassion? How would this friend convey the deep compassion he/she feels for you, especially for the discomfort you feel when you judge yourself so harshly? What would this friend write in order to remind you that you are only human, that all people have both strengths and weaknesses? And if you think this friend would suggest possible changes you should make, how would these suggestions embody feelings of unconditional understanding and compassion? As you write to yourself from the perspective of this imaginary friend, try to infuse your letter with a strong sense of the person’s acceptance, kindness, caring, and desire for your health and happiness. After writing the letter, put it down for a little while. Then come back and read it again, really letting the words sink in. Feel the compassion as it pours into you, soothing and comforting you like a cool breeze on a hot day. Love, connection, and acceptance are your birthright. To claim them you need only look within yourself.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“The serenity prayer—made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs—captures this idea beautifully: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Self-compassion can help us develop a healthier, more authentic way of relating to sex. First and foremost, by being supportive and nurturing toward our sexuality—whatever shape or form it comes in—we can stop being victims of sexual shame. We don’t need to judge ourselves according to society’s mixed-up sexual norms.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“the key to happiness was understanding that suffering is caused by resisting pain.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Compassion, then, involves the recognition and clear seeing of suffering. It also involves feelings of kindness for people who are suffering, so that the desire to help—to ameliorate suffering—emerges. Finally, compassion involves recognizing our shared human condition, flawed and fragile as it is.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Pain and dysfunction get passed down from generation to generation. A mixture of genetic inheritance and environmental circumstance ensures that our lives unfold according to a complex web of conditions that is infinitely larger than ourselves. The only way to stop the vicious cycle of reacting to pain by causing more pain is to step out of the system. We need to let our hearts fill with compassion, and forgive ourselves and others.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“Mindfulness brings us back to the present moment and provides the type of balanced awareness that forms the foundation of self-compassion. Like a clear, still pool without ripples, mindfulness perfectly mirrors what’s occurring without distortion. Rather than becoming lost in our own personal soap opera, mindfulness allows us to view our situation with greater perspective and helps to ensure that we don’t suffer unnecessarily.”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
“How Do You React to Yourself and Your Life? HOW DO YOU TYPICALLY REACT TO YOURSELF?          •    What types of things do you typically judge and criticize yourself for—appearance, career, relationships, parenting, and so on?          •    What type of language do you use with yourself when you notice some flaw or make a mistake—do you insult yourself, or do you take a more kind and understanding tone?          •    If you are highly self-critical, how does this make you feel inside?          •    What are the consequences of being so hard on yourself? Does it make you more motivated, or does it tend to make you discouraged and depressed?          •    How do you think you would feel if you could truly accept yourself exactly as you are? Does this possibility scare you, give you hope, or both?”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
“If I have to feel better than you to feel good about myself, then how clearly am I really going to see you, or myself for that matter?”
Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind

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