Updated: Oct 8
Have you ever noticed what you say to yourself when you make a mistake, or when you child gets mad at you, or when your ex texts you something nasty? Do you notice that you're kind and loving and compassionate with yourself? My guess is, you're like most of us who do the exact opposite of that, and instead become our own worst enemy, flinging self criticism and judgement around until we feel horrible and believe that we're a failure in every way. In today's episode I'm going to teach you the art of self compassion by breaking it down into the self compassion triad. By learning to be self compassionate, you'll be reprogramming your brain away from the self criticism default, to a new kinder version of you. In today's episode you'll learn:
What self compassion is.
How to evaluate your level of self compassion and a 24-hour challenge to bring that awareness into your consciousness.
The self compassion triad, and how you can begin to implement each part of the triad into your own life.
List to the full episode:
When you're mean to yourself over and over again it makes it really hard to show up with confidence and certainty that you can live a happy, fulfilled life after divorce. That self criticism also has you feeling judgmental of yourself which has you judging the other people in your lives harshly as well. What does look like? Snapping at your kids, short tempered, isolating yourself, not setting goals for your future, continuing to believe that your life will never be great. You don't have to live this way. I can teach you a new way of thinking that will have you believing you can create any kind of life you want, and then actually making that life a reality. Want to know how? Click here to schedule your complimentary discovery session with me.
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Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome back to Becoming You Again. I’m your host Karin Nelson. I’m a certified divorce confidence coach and this is the podcast where I teach you how to reconnect with yourself, create emotional resiliency and live a truly independent life, so you can have an even better life than when you were married.
Hi. How’s it going? Have I told you all how much I love making these podcasts for you? It’s one of my favorite things to do each week. I get so much great feedback from you all telling me how helpful the podcast episodes are which is first of all super great. I love hearing that. But that truly is the icing on the cake because I love being able to teach you the things that have helped me in my divorce and I love coming up with new topics that I know others are struggling with and being able to teach on those as well.
I know that divorce is a big part of many of the women who listen to this podcast of their lives. Right? I unfortunately am only one women and I only have the capacity to help a certain amount of women working one on one with them. I got to thinking about that yesterday and it got me thinking about what I can do to help more women to be able to put more of his goodness out into the world and to be able to guide more women as they go through their divorce. How can I teach more women to love themselves more, to figure out who they are, to help them reprogram their brain so they believe they are capable of living an amazing life after divorce? How can I help more women get really good at living an emotionally resilient life where they feel independent in their thoughts and they feel independent in their actions? And I am thinking about this and I realized I need to create a program because with a program I will be able to put all of the things I teach my clients in one place. And then it’s going to make it really easy for any woman who is struggling with this to come, to learn at her own pace, two do the lessons that apply to her in her life right now, and still have access to me because I will offer a live group coaching call and the replays if you cannot be there live and really have a place where women can feel like they are part of a larger community of like-minded women who are going through all the same kinds of things and who are wanting to learn how to live a better, happier life after divorce. And with the program it would be much more affordable than one-on-one coaching which means more access to more women.
Let’s be real, I completely understand the financial struggle that moms who are divorced often feel and sometimes that luxury of working one-on-one with a coach isn’t an option. So I’m creating this course right now. I am creating this program right now. I am working on it. I am putting it together. Of course it’s going to be called the Becoming You Again program. But if you want to be the first to know when this program is open so that you can join then I want you to click and get on my wait list. Click the link in the show notes or you can go to www.karinnelsoncoaching.com/waitlist (all one word) and join the list there. That means when I open this program you will be the first to know. You will be the first to have the information. You will be the first to have the opportunity to join because your name will be on the list and you will be notified right when it opens. So again you can click the link in the show notes or go to www dot k a r I n n e l s o n coaching dot com slash w a I t l I s t (one word). Waitlist one word and that’s going to put you on the list so that when the program comes out and is open for enrollment.
Alright, now onto this episode. One thing that I’ve been experimenting with a lot with lately is self compassion and really stepping into giving myself grace and kindness, especially during times when every instinct that I have is to be self critical, to be unkind, demeaning, judgmental. I wanted to talk about the art of self compassion because I truly believe that the more women can learn to give themselves compassion and kindness, the better they are going to feel, which is going to have them showing up in their life with more love, more kindness, more compassion, trust, grace and curiosity to everyone around them as well. And I really want you to think about this. I want you to think about what would that mean for humanity in general. It would mean more connection, inclusivity, understanding. It would mean less hate, worry, confusion. So much of what I’ll be talking about and teaching you today is from my own experiences and my own experimentation on what kindness looks like for me and I’m also using the Mindful Self Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer.
Self compassion is when you treat yourself the way you would treat a friend or a child who is having a hard time, even if they absolutely messed up big time or are feeling so down on themselves or they’re really going through the worst of the circumstances. Everyone of us knows how to be kind to others. We are taught this from a very early age to give to those in need. To treat others the way we want to be treated.
I think I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, but maybe not, either way I was raised in the Mormon church and even though I no longer consider myself to be a member of that religion, I still remember what it was like growing up, right, and I remember being in Primary on Sundays as a child and primary was where all the kids between the ages of like 4 to 12 or something like that and you would go to learn things and sing songs and have little lessons and do things like that on Sunday. But I remember singing a song in primary that has stuck with me all these years later. The lyrics were:
“I want to be kind to ev'ryone,
For that is right, you see.
So I say to myself, “Remember this:
Kindness begins with me.”
So kindness towards others isn’t something that most of us really struggle to do. It’s not very difficult for us. But what’s really fascinating is that when it comes to self compassion or kindness directed toward ourselves we have a completely different view. Instead of self compassion we often show up as our own worst enemy. I think probably a lot of you can relate to what I am saying here.
I remember back when I was first dating after divorce and I had been messaging back and forth with a guy for a few days. One day without notice or reason he ghosted me. Right. So many of you can probably relate to this. But for me this was my first experience with ghosting since it was the first guy I had been talking to since being married for 20 years so ghosting was like a new experience to me. It wasn’t really something that people did back in the day or if they did it wasn’t really talked about were mentioned. Right. And it was different because we didn’t really have texting 20 years ago and so it was just a little bit easier for people to be ghosted.
But instead of showing myself compassion and realizing, ghosting happens to everyone. And whatever is going on for him, it’s really not about me. Instead I chose to take the criticize myself. I berated myself. I’m telling me that of course he didn’t want to talk to me anymore. I’m fat, gross and disgusting. Not to mention how boring I am basically just staying home with the kids, not even really knowing what it’s like to have a fun life. And I am telling myself all these things. Right.
I was speaking to myself in a way that I would never talk to someone else, especially someone I loved. Like if my daughter came to me and was like this person ghosted me, I would never say those things to her. I would be like I’m so sorry. I love you. That guy is a jerk. What an idiot. He is missing out on the best you. You are amazing. I would give her a hug and I would comfort her and be there for her and love her and tell her how amazing she is. But of course I did not do that for myself.
I want you to think about this. How often do you speak to yourself with unkindness and self criticism? If you’re not sure, then I would challenge you to pay attention for the next 24 hours. Every time you notice mean thoughts directed toward yourself, make a tick mark on a piece of paper or in your notes on your phone. You don’t have to get mad at yourself for being self critical if you notice it. Just really notice it and go, okay, wow, here we go again telling myself I’m a failure as a mom. Oh, yep I see that I just told myself that I’m fat or I’ll never lose weight because I looked at the number on the scale. Or that it was higher today. Or whatever your brain is offering you throughout the day. Just notice it. Market tick.
Then after the 24 hours look back at how many tick marks you’ve got and I want you to notice if there’s any room for improvement. My guess is for every one of us – myself included – there’s going to be room for improvement. Because even for me, someone who studies self compassion, teaches it to my clients and really works to notice it – I still have a human brain just like you guys do and my human brain just like yours does that likes to tell me I’m doing it all wrong. And this is what we are working to overcome. This is what we are working to reprogram.
Once you become of aware of the toxic berating that your head is feeding you that’s then you can plug it in to the conscious thinking framework and see how thinking that way is making you feel and what that feeling is fueling in terms of your actions.
So let’s use my example that I talked about with the first guy I had been talking to. My unconscious blueprint would look like,
Circumstance: Guy doesn’t text me.
My thought is: It must be because I’m so fat, gross and disgusting.
My feeling because of that thought is: Shame.
When I felt shame in that moment I cried a little bit when I was alone. I felt completely embarrassed. I got off the dating app, like immediately. I immediately deleted my profile. I continued to berate myself in my head placing so much blame on myself for his actions. Then I tried to resist feeling the shame and instead I would try and comfort myself with chocolate and binge watching something on Netflix, and stuffing myself to the point where I felt sick and bloated. All of that created a result where I made what I was thinking about true. I was continuing to gain weight. I was continuing to feel gross and I was feeling overstuffed with food and giving myself more and more evidence that I was disgusting. It was like I am thinking this thing about myself and then I am proving it to be true through my actions and the way I am feeling.
So I just want you to notice over the next week for hours how these self critical words directed toward you are showing up in your life because once you can see that, that is when you can start to implement some self compassion.
When it comes to self compassion there’s three components that make up the self compassion triad. There’s mindfulness, there’s common humanity and then there’s self kindness. So mindfulness is just exactly what I explained. It’s just what I talked about. The becoming aware of what you’re thinking and how it’s creating your feelings and your actions. But there’s a little more to this mindfulness part of the triad. It’s not enough to just notice what you’re thinking but you also need to have the courage to face how you have been reacting to our emotions and instead show up without judgement. Because when you can show out without judgment that is the magic of using the conscious thinking blueprint. It’s going to help you to see what’s going on and you’re going to be open to changing it because you’re not going to be adding guilt or shame or embarrassment on top of what you are already feeling because there is no judgment there. You just notice it and then decide from there do I want to continue feeling this way? Do I want to continue thinking these things about myself?
The second component of the self compassion triad is kindness. This is where instead of continuing to be self critical, you show up with kindness toward yourself, just like you would your child that came to you or your best friend who’s really struggling. I think I’ve talked about this on the podcast before but when I’m really doubting myself and having a hard time I like to picture myself sitting on my bed next to another me. Then one of me puts her arm around the other around her shoulders and I tell myself I’m here for you. And then I saw, what do you need, love. What can I do for you? And then I give myself that warm embrace and I feel love and I feel comfort and if that love and comfort that I am seeking that I am able to provide for myself. This only takes a minute or two for me to sit there and visualize it but it makes me feel enveloped in exquisite kindness and support for myself once I am done. So you can try that has been crying for yourself or when I’m working with my clients I’ll often ask them what would you tell a friend who is struggling with something? Who is going through this same thing that you are going through? What would you say to them? How would you come for them? How would you show up for them? So whatever their answer is then we direct that back to themselves. They show up in that way for themselves. So you can ask yourself testing question, right? What would you tell a friend who is going through the same thing you are struggling with? Then practice showing up for yourself in that way with self compassion. With self kindness.
And the last part of the triad is common humanity. Another way of thinking about this is calling it connection. This is where we can feel a sense of inter-connectedness by recognizing that all humans make mistakes. All humans fail. There is not one human who has never made a mistake has never failed because there is no perfect human. All humans go through challenges and have hard experiences. And then you start to recognize and remind yourself in those moments about this fact. So this might seem like a really obvious step, to remind yourself about the human experience, but what usually happens when we’re in the thick of a challenge and we’re criticizing ourselves is we kind of believe that when we suffer or struggle with a challenge that something has gone wrong or that it’s not fair that we’re struggling. And instead of feeling connected to others who have maybe gone through the same thing, we instead pull away and disconnect and we ourselves feel isolated, and alone and we feed our suffering and our pain. Because we’re like, no one has ever felt this before. I am the only one. I must be the only one who is feeling this way. I must be the only one who has dealt with this. Right. We disconnect ourselves from humanity in that way.
Showing up and recognizing like, I’m not alone in going through this hard thing. What I’m feeling right now others have felt too, even if the circumstances are different, the feelings of shame, anger, sadness, you know frustration, they’re all the same for every human. And every human will at some point experience some of those emotions. Like for me with the example that I have been using, I could have showed up with the common humanity outlook by realizing that many other people have been ghosted and many other people will continue to be ghosted. I’m not alone in this occurrence. It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with me. It doesn’t mean that I won’t find someone to love again.
So when we can learn to implement the self compassion triad more often in our lives, the more you will be in a state of loving, connected presence with ourselves and that is what I want for you. When you can do that, your relationship with yourself will completely transform. It’s an amazing thing and I know that it is possible for you so get practicing. Take 24 hours and look at how often you put yourself down and then really look for those areas where you can improve.
Alright my friends that’s it for today. I love you so much. Thank you for being here. I will be back next week.
If you like what you heard on today’s podcast and you want to know more about working 1:1 with me, you can go to www.karinnelsoncoaching.com and schedule your free consult to find out more. That’s www dot Karin nelson coaching dot com.
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