Article Self esteem is very important and we all realize that. What many people don't realize is how important self compassion is. 0 2022 Life coaching https://www.lifecoachhub.com/img/uploads/articles/thumbs/1133_1659998755.jpg Wellness coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

If You Accept Your Flaws, Self Compassion Follows (Confessions of a Coach)

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If you accept your flaws, you will learn self compassion quote

Why Self Compassion is Essential

There’s been a lot of talk lately about self esteem. People say that “confidence is key” and it’s so important to compliment yourself on your strengths. That is all true, but it is missing something that may be even more important than self esteem: self compassion. It’s great to recognize your strengths but let’s be honest: all humans are flawed. 

I’ll save you the trouble and tell you right now: you are never going to be perfect. That can be tough to hear but I don’t mean it as a bad thing. I have plenty of flaws, but I have learned to accept them.

Nowadays it’s very common for even the losing team at a kids’ sports game to still get a trophy. This is because adults don’t want to risk having a kid feel bad by telling them that they didn’t win. But the kid knows that they lost so the trophy is not going to make him, her, or they feel better.

What adults should do instead is tell kids “yes you lost but that’s ok. You can’t win everything. The important thing is that you have fun and learn from your mistakes in this game so that you can do a better job during the next game.”  This will teach kids that it’s ok not to be the winner all of the time rather than acting like they did win.

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Accepting your imperfections

I’ve battled mental illness for years and a lot of that time was spent hating myself. I wished that I hadn’t been born with a mental illness and I thought that if I was a better person I could’ve solved my mental illness on my own.

Over time though I learned that my imperfections were not my fault; they were just something I was born with. And yes, I did make some bad decisions in my youth but that was no reason to hate myself because everyone makes plenty of mistakes in their youth.

Not only that, but it was often actually a good thing to make mistakes at that age because then you could learn from them in order to have a better adulthood.

So many people that I’ve worked with seem to always beat themselves up whenever they don’t fulfill a goal perfectly. I believe that it is because they have a belief system that says “if you’re not perfect then you’re useless.”

It breaks my heart to hear that because I used to force the same belief on myself.  But over time, I have learned that even people who I hold up as heroes weren’t perfect so I’ve realized that it’s ok.

Accepting your flaws

To err is to be human. If humans were perfect there would be no such thing as comedy because comedy is when we laugh at our own flaws.  I’ve discovered that my flaws are really funny to laugh at. 

And even if we have flaws that are more serious that doesn’t necessarily make them a bad thing.  It’s just something we need to work on and we can learn so much from our journey of self improvement.  Flaws can be our friends if we learn to have self compassion.

You may be able to understand this better in the form of a short story.  There’s a girl, let’s call her Abby, who seems to be doing very well in life.  She is a straight A student, the captain of the basketball team, and is the president of the school’s debate club.  Abby has high self esteem thanks to all her accomplishments and the compliments she receives from family and friends. 

But she is lacking in self compassion.  When things are going her way that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.  But whenever she gets a bad grade or loses a basketball game the negative voices in her head start telling her terrible things about herself.  You see, Abby can’t stand the fact that she’s not perfect and will thus sometimes mess up.  

In order to try to avoid failing Abby becomes a control freak. She tries to have everything scheduled perfectly so she will never get a bad grade or lose a game again.  She works very hard at this but sometimes her plans fall through. What she eventually learns is that control is an allusion.

Accepting you're not perfect

Nobody’s perfect and thus nobody can succeed all of the time.  It’s a very difficult lesson to learn. I’ve struggled with it myself for many years.  But thankfully I learned to give myself a break and to stop trying to control things. Thankfully Abby does too.  

Luckily, Abby gets help from family and friends to learn that they will still love her even when she messes up.  Her parents tell her that they’re still proud of her for working hard on an assignment even when she doesn’t get an A.

They remind her that even the best students don’t get A’s all of the time and even if she started doing even more poorly they would still love her. Her friends tell her when she loses a basketball game that she’s still a great player and even if she continually loses they’ll still be there to cheer her on.

Over time Abby learns that it’s ok not to be perfect and that having flaws is natural.  Eventually Abby gains self compassion and stops beating herself up whenever she fails.  She learns to truly love herself.

Not for being perfect but just for being herself. And Abby becomes so much happier indeed.

Rachel Alison Kaplan, Life coch


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