Who’s In Your Corner? Are you?
As part of my business, I facilitate personal futures plans for individuals and for organizations. One of the tools I use is called PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope). I love this tool. It is so much like life coaching.
As you can see by the diagram, there is a place during this process where the facilitator asks the individual or the individuals within the organization who they need to enroll in order to help them make their dreams come true. I have always found it interesting that unless I prompt people, they always forget to enroll themselves in their own process. I am just as guilty of this paramount step when creating my own life. As of late, I have felt stuck. I have turned to others and asked for help and support. All of this is fine and good. As a matter of fact, it’s a crucial step toward personal growth to be able to ask for help. However, there is a danger when I turn to others to help me make my life better without enrolling myself in the process.
I have recently discovered that showing self-compassion does not come easily to me. It’s not what I learned growing up. I learned that if something is not working then I should work harder. I learned that it was good to strive for perfection. I learned that it was crucial to always give your best and give 100 percent all the time. So, the concept of being gentle and compassionate with myself when I am struggling, in all honesty, does not inherently compute. That being said, I have learned that it’s healthy to be kind to ourselves. I have learned that we are happier, healthier, and more fulfilled when we show ourselves compassion and kindness. Therefore, self-compassion is a set of skills that I have chosen to learn and cultivate in order to be my own best friend. Besides, encouraging myself feels loads better than beating myself up in my head, which I have done too many times to count.
I don’t think I am alone in this behavior. Raise your hand if you push yourself to do your best or to be perfect and then berate yourself when you judge yourself as being anything less than flawless. I know this pattern of behavior oh so well! It’s the pattern that I learned while growing up, and while I have gotten better with the support of life coaching tools, I still display this pattern today from time to time.
Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, uses the term marble jar friends, which she coined after hearing her daughter share that her teacher puts a marble in a jar for every time a person in the class acted kindly or did something nice for another classmate. Likewise, marbles were taken out of the jar when a child acted in a way that was unkind to a fellow student. Brown used this concept to help teach her daughter about how to trust someone. I love the concept of marble jar friends. I have actually played around with figuring out who in my life I would trust with anything, even when I am in a downward spiral. It’s important to note that sometimes people are in my marble jar and sometimes, based on life, people may not be in my marble jar for a while. Or people leave my marble jar completely, and that is OK too. However, I think it’s important that I am always a marble jar friend to myself!
Are you in your corner?
If not, what’s in your way from loving yourself the way you would love someone else?
If you want to work on creating more self-compassion in your life, I am happy to support you on your journey. Together, we can support each other.
I am currently enrolled in Brené Brown’s Living Brave Semester, which is an online course. Self-compassion has been the theme for the past couple of weeks. Brown refers to the great work of Kristin Neff, who is widely regarded as the first person to operationally define self-compassion. I am sharing the self-compassion test that we took in the Living Brave Semester. It’s on Neff’s website and is completely free. Give yourself a treat or a wake-up call and take this test. I highly encourage it. Just click on the lavender square to take you to the test. I would encourage checking out her full website too!
After I took this test and instantly received and reviewed my results, I made the intentional decision to create more self-compassion in my life. I currently have ordered Neff’s six-CD set. You can download many of her self-compassion meditations from Sounds True. Here is the link to their website. http://www.soundstrue.com/store
Until next time,
Safe Space Life Coaching