You Are Worthy of Self-Compassion

When you need to give yourself compassion and support, what words do you say to yourself?

Share your reflections below!

  • Patricia says:

    Thank-you for sharing your personal experience of self compassion in your own life. I’m been giving out to myself for years and I’m tired of it. I know that the practice in Self-compassion is going to bring a lot of changes to my life. It takes courage to be Self-Compassionate to yourself as everything in life since we were children had taught us that we “must put other people’s needs first, and that a bit of self-flagellation is a good thing. Yes if we can use it to have a laugh but not punish outselves for it. I think the hardest thing is when you know that you made a decision against yourself that ended up in results that means you are vulnerable, drive you into the LIon’s Den. i have done this now and I am angry at myself because deep down I knew this was the Lion’s Den but I still went there. its like one is always testing oneself to one’s limit.

  • Patti says:

    Thank-you for sharing your personal experience of self compassion in your own life. I’m been giving out to myself for years and I’m tired of it. I know that the practice in Self-compassion is going to bring a lot of changes to my life. It takes courage to be Self-Compassionate to yourself as everything in life since we were children had taught us that we “must put other people’s needs first, and that a bit of self-flagellation is a good thing. Yes if we can use it to have a laugh but not punish outselves for it. I think the hardest thing is when you know that you made a decision against yourself that ended up in results that means you are vulnerable, drive you into the LIon’s Den. i have done this now and I am angry at myself because deep down I knew this was the Lion’s Den but I still went there. its like one is always testing oneself to one’s limit.

  • Bevie says:

    Love it!

  • Jacqueline Hendrickson says:

    I say All is well, All is exceedingly well.
    .

  • Eugenie says:

    I have a 40 year habit of speaking way too fast in ordinary conversations. During this presentation a quiet voice inside me said, « That’s it! Shame is pushing you to speak fast, to get out of the way bec. heck, what do you have to say. » So now, in ordinary conversations I will take in a gentle breath, say to myself, « There. There. May you be safe….well…happy » then I will quietly take space and unhurriedly say what I want to say.
    Thanks.

  • K.S.W. says:

    Thank you so much for this video. Ever since I was very young and experienced sexual assault, I sometimes fall into a cycle of feeling anxious, depressed, and unworthy, and after learning techniques in PTSD therapy, I have been trying to use mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Exposure to combat these bouts of psychic flu. Kristin Neff’s work and your video offer a powerful paradigm shift. I am learning to hold myself in peace and safety and feel our common humanity. Thank you. 🙏

  • Vikki says:

    I am very critical of myself and always second guess myself. This is when I need be give myself compassion and support. And remind myself I am human.

  • Sharon says:

    Very calming. So interesting to hear that shame can lie behind anxiety. Makes perfect sense. I meditate regularly but will now include loving kindness in my practice. X

  • Cathryn says:

    When something doesn’t work that was really, really important to me- a relationship, a new business, maybe an athletic pursuit or rehabbing my body, I remind myself that I truly gave it my best shot with the tools I had and that because of that I can hold my head up in front of myself. And that my view of what happened is the one that matters. Then, I’ll see what there was to learn from it.

  • Jaya says:

    I have got this, breathe deep! Slow down…My angels are with me and I am not alone!

    • Jaya says:

      Be shameless and hopeful, staying calm rather then beating myself, then the limbic system calms down and in return we become self-confident and fearless. This allows us to look at uncertainty calmly and clearly, and to find the opportunities for growth and new possibilities.

  • Roy says:

    I have, forever, been hard on myself. I’m hoping self compassion training will help me be kinder to myself and others.

  • Ari says:

    I will tell myself, ‘I know you have tried the best, it’s not easy.”

  • Wendy says:

    I got you.

  • Jay Stinnett says:

    Having a full time job and being a full time care giver I have not been able to access enough energy to work on my book.
    I set my timer ring every 22 minutes, fold my arms across my chest and say I love you, I love you, I love you of course you are overwhelmed, this is not being formed now for a reason. Marinate in knowing it will be created at the precise moment to be helpful for the highest good.
    I love you, I love you, I love you

  • MK says:

    I love your insight on the underlying roots of anxiety ! 🙂 Like you (your old self) on the issue of public speaking, I freeze big time and can’t remember a thing !! Next time before I even introduce my topic I am gonna shout out “May we all hold & experience Joy and Loving kindness” I would be totally comfortable starting out that way 🙂 What a blessing that would be and a great way to move into the informative talk. Thank You for sharing this with me, I am still learning to accept anxiety as shame based, I had always thought it was just fear based but had not explored the possibility of anxiety being shame based. I will love myself through it. Thank you again.

  • Donna Cooper says:

    Thank you for being brave enough to talk to us in your video. I’ve been in therapy for PTSD for the past few years, and along with working through some real life problems, I’ve become quite aware of who I am. My mindfulness practice, my self compassion practice, and my Spirituality, has become a combined practice that allows me to now look at and live live life without fear or shame or guilt. God Bless you, and keep helping others, to help themselves.

  • Jen says:

    This is only a chapter of my story.

  • Katherine says:

    Thank you, Chris! I’ve always read fear of public speaking is second only to fear of snakes. I don’t have a problem with snakes, but want to fall through the floor when I have to speak in public. I so appreciated your analysis of the many different aspects of this fear/shame and the “portable therapy of self-compassion”, especially being able to say “I am safe, I am at ease” and to turn that self-compassion toward the audience also. Life is suffering, we are all in it together, we all breathe the same air, we all deserve self-compassion. We are human together. I am so grateful for your teachings and this seminar with Kristin Neff and Sounds True for providing it, especially right now when we need it so much (and have the time to listen and practice.)

  • Michele says:

    Shame rules my every breath and action. While attempting to be self compassionate I often start to dissociate because I am not believing or ready.

    • Ruth says:

      I so identify with you. I’ve wrestled with this predicament all my life. What helps me is to say, “May I love myself for thinking I deserve no love” and trying to wrap my mind around that notion. I envision the little girl who learned her judgmental style from others and I try to see her as innocent, maybe even lovable.

      • Michele says:

        Thank you , Ruth, for your understanding.

        • Nancy says:

          Thank you Ruth and Michelle. I connected so much with what you had to say. I too had constant trouble with feeling and believing I was loveable and worthwhile. I lived with constant shame for over 30+ years.. I had to realize that it was taught to me from the very beginning of childhood from my family. I had to realize that I was an innocent child who had to learn these coping styles in order to survive, and was taught them by deeply wounded people who didn’t know how to love themselves. But I’ve come to realize these coping styles aren’t me. That is why I kept striving to learn a better way, and it’s why you are striving to learn a better way. The innocent child (teenager, young adult) that was you had to learn an unhealthy pattern of behavior to live in an unhealthy environment. You did the best you could. You’ll likely have to grieve the loss of your childhood, and learn to love you as a child in a way others couldn’t. This mindful self-compassion is how you can love yourself, and love the child that you were. I had to say to myself every time I started repeating my unhealthy shame patterns “This was the unhealthy way I learned to survive as a child., but I am an adult now, and I choose to love myself, and I choose to learn a new way”.

          Ruth’s helpful idea to say “May I love myself for thinking I deserve no love” is so spot on. Love yourself for not knowing any better before, and for repeating learned habits. It’s okay. We can change our thinking patterns and our way of seeing ourselves. It is a daily practice, Keep doing it. Your body will pay attention to the words you are saying to it, and the feeling of self-love will come. In spits and spurts at first, you’ll backtrack at times, but keep going. You have many years of unhealthy patterns to unlearn, and to open up to who you really are. You are not the unhealthy patterns and thoughts. You are something more beautiful that is underneath all those layers. Eventually one day you will realize you love yourself without having to think about it. You will want to do the self-compassion habit over the shame habit because it feels so much better. It takes time, it’s okay, it’s a journey, but you are on the road now. It is still a daily practice for me, and I am so grateful to have finally learned new ways to love myself.

          Note: author and researcher Brene Brown is also a wonderful resource in learning about shame and learning how to be “whole-hearted”. I greatly recommend her books, TED talks, and Netflix special.

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you very much for your talk. I loved it! The concept of “The Unhealthy Trinity of Responses” truly blew me away! I had never heard of it although I’ve been a psychotherapist for 20 years!… Very enlightening and it makes perfect sense… ! Thank you!

  • Natalia says:

    The term “portable therapy” – love it! Thank you for opening up and sharing your story of common humanity. It normalises our fears and allows self compassion to come through. With that comes self worthiness – I am worthy, with all my lumps and bumps. This will help me today and into the future. Thank you.

  • Colleen says:

    thank you for your encouragement. I am equipped more now to face the unholy trinity.

  • Patty R says:

    I am loved

  • Kelly says:

    I thought your comparison of self- criticism as a mode of self preservation was VERY enlightening. Understanding how a perceived external threat initiates our fight or flight reflex versus how we respond to an internally ,self generated, threat was truly clarifying. I found it affirming to see the illustration of how self compassion truly IS the antidote to self criticism. I will be watching this again. Super simple but valuable guideposts to being present and accepting and nurturing ourselves. As I’m trying to learn the ropes of self compassion and I come up against those difficult thoughts and feelings, I find myself saying “It’s okay to feel… ” “I understand WHY you would feel…” It’s a beginning step in practicing wholeness and befriending myself.

  • Brenda says:

    “Ouch! This is hard, sweetie. Peaceful….Happy…..Well…. At ease….”

    The practice of self-compassion has helped me so much in the last few years — it’s been transformative. Thanks Chris and Kristin!

  • Tiff says:

    Thank you so much. I feel this is the missing link that I have needed. I’m so hard on myself for my struggles and suffering. I really loved the way you explained about the innocence within us and if we had more information then we may have made a different choice. I have been sabotaging myself for years and am yearning for this cycle to end. I’m looking forward to implementing this practice into every moment of my life. Thank you so much.

  • Lieke says:

    I say: this is really hard for you right now. You are feeling vurnelable. You have a desire for connection, you are afraid. These are hard feelings to bare.

  • Joleen says:

    Thank you Chris ,
    I did not know shame was behind the performance anxiety,
    yet it makes perfect sense…
    great talk and very helpful

  • Jen says:

    Thank you, Kristin and Chris and to Sounds True for replaying it. Such lovely, heartful reminders in this time of (obviously) extreme uncertainty. Notice my breath deepening.

  • DeBora says:

    I came back to say you, Dr. Germer, nailed it! I got so much from your words. Imagine if you’d not persisted as a public speaker? The world would have sadly missed out on your unique insights, wisdom, and gifts.

  • DeBora says:

    First, I acknowledge what I’m feeling, and I be with it. That simple act alone is an act of self-compassion. When I need compassion, one thing that I do is remind myself that I am human. And to be human is to be flawed. I also reflect on all the ways I’ve succeeded, done well, overcame, was strong. In other words, I have a good talk with myself…about myself and it seems to work.

  • Healing... says:

    Choosing to see innocence and alikeness in others rather than guilt and differences feels like I just went from a life of scrubbing floors in a warehouse that never ends to designing sunrises and sunsets. This artist was raised to believe everyone’s born a sinner which inadvertently set me up to become an expert at identifying and grading the severity of everything that could harm me—spiritually, physically, emotionally—whether in myself or in others. I am so leaving this warehouse for my new life’s work!

  • Ashly says:

    I am pretty new to the idea of giving myself support. I have started to say things like:
    This has no influence on your value.
    You are human, all humans face struggles.
    Would any reasonable person in your situation have done the same thing?
    Your starting point of “0” is not everyone else’s. Start where YOU are, it’s not a competition.
    What’s the absolute worst that can happen? Will you survive?
    You are worthy of kindness and love.
    What do you need? Now and later – how can I help?

  • Tom Kavanagh says:

    Dear Chris,
    I am one of the thousands of psychologists you trained in mindfulness. Your work but , more importantly, your willingness to share parts your own experiences in your teaching, has had a profound effect on me both personally and professionally. Thanks to you, and Kristen Neff, for this gift you have given during an especially challenging time.

  • Joan says:

    I say “ you are a good person and you are doing really well considering all that’s going on. Be kind to yourself.”

  • Nancy Graham-Cork says:

    The idea of self compassion and kindness to ones self is a major paradigm shift.
    Thank you.

  • Kim says:

    Normally when I’m anxious, I criticize myself relentlessly. I’m hopeful that by learning more about self compassion, I can learn how to increase my inner self voice to bring kindness and care to myself as I would others. Thank you both!

  • Debora says:

    Thank you for sharing your humanity & divinity! In these challenging times it’s always good to be reminded about our inter-connection with each other and the spacious awareness of Spirit. As a therapist, I find it especially powerful that you share your vulnerability. It just makes you much more authentic and powerful as a vehicle for healing.

  • Sylvia says:

    I so appreciate your video…it allows me to take in the FACT that I AM worthy of self compassion as I AM my own worst critic..thank YOU as a person cannot change what they don’t acknowledge.
    I’m well on my way to loving MYSELF and having compassion for MYSELF…THANK YOU.

  • Marissa says:

    I try to say I’m perfect the way I am, I’m worthy, I’m enough. Sometimes I can listen to that, and sometimes it’s harder, but I want to say it more.

    • Faiza says:

      I often say those affirmation phrases from time to time, in a bid to re-program my dominant consciousness, however it just doesn’t feel true in my feeling body, I can feel my stomach wince and recoil as I say them but I try to listen to the Voice of my Higher Self.. So anyway, I just stopped.

      My hearts desire is to feel lighter and less dark & heavy, more uplifted in my brain to give rise to better quality thoughts & perceptions therefore. I have a gut infection and toxic build up in my liver and heavy metals, I’d like to detox to feel lighter! _/_

  • Richard says:

    I find, when I get anxious before presenting a report, my mantra for calm is ” Just like me, these people are unsure, frightened, wishing for peace and happiness, just like me.

  • chris says:

    I love your message of common humanity, and how you are sharing your own experience. Great information and I am sharing with my friends who need to hear this also.

  • Betty says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, am a psychotherapist in private practice who has struggled for over 40 years with public speaking. I feel your pain, and I agree shame is at the root. Much gratitude for you and the work you are doing.

  • Ravi says:

    Thanks Chris and Kristin!

  • Joan Crawford says:

    Dr. Chris,
    Wow! I feel like you have just uncovered a part of me by relating your own personal experiences. I am excited to work with self compassion as a result. Thank you so very much!!

  • Janice says:

    Chris,
    Thank you for the explanation of common humanity. It is a term I’ve struggled with. I’m not sure if I accept that others fail. I go through life only seeing the successes of others, the capabilities of others, and the failings in me. I suspect that accepting the concept of common humanity could impact the challenges I’ve faced in providing myself with self-compassion.

  • Lisa says:

    Such wisdom, thank you so much.

  • Patti says:

    When i fail at things i tend to say to myself “well you’re great at other things “ as though im giving myself a conciliation prize!

  • Lara Sif Larusdottir says:

    This lecture touched me deeply and I am thankful for it. I have been criticiseding my self for being afraid in this difficult times, but I going to embrace my self and practicing self- compassion meditation daily for 30 days now. Lara from Iceland

  • Cris says:

    I learned that my body was not beautiful enough, as I was a bit overweight as a child. Even though I went through many diets and sport programmes and am no longer overweight, I still feel ashamed of my body. It is still difficult for me to undress before my husband, although he really loves me. What can I do about it?
    Also, I have a tendency to blush, whenever I meet people that I find attractive. This embarrasses me so much! Thank you for your inspiring Work!

    • Amanda says:

      May I offer what I am trying with a similar struggle with body-image? — Stand in front of the mirror today – put your hand on your heart and practice self-compassion that you would offer a friend.
      You’re hurting and this is hard.
      So many in our world are suffer under media/societal messages of warped/unrealistic/narrow beauty.
      You are enough, right here and right now.
      You ARE beautiful. (And look yourself in the eyes when you say that last line. )

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