I've been working on increasing my self compassion. There are many things I practice and do consistently to improve my thoughts and feelings towards myself: I journal, meditate, talk to a therapist a couple times a month, practice, practice, practice...and let me tell you, it's not a destination, it's a journey. A hard, rocky one at best. A type A person with perfectionist tendencies, as I started becoming aware of my thoughts towards myself, it's challenging for me to see just hard I am on myself.
What I've learned is that awareness of my berating thoughts is the first step. Awareness is key.
This past week I took a Lyft to the dentist. I wanted to take Muni back to save some money, and plus it was relatively easy to do logistically from my dentist. On my way to the dentist, though, I realized I forgot my clipper card. Oops.
I immediately felt the thoughts start to kick in, "Geez, I can't believe you forgot your clipper card, now you have to spend more money on a Lyft." And "really? You forgot your clipper card? Idiot." It sounds comical, practically laugh worthy, to type out, but it's how I talk to myself.
What was different this time? I became AWARE of the thoughts starting, and I interrupted them. I said, "wait a minute, I don't have to think like that or talk to myself that way." So I decided instead to tell myself," Oops. Well, that kinda sucks, but oh well. No big deal, I'll take a Lyft back to my apartment." And that was that. I moved on with my day and didn't beat myself up over with a ton of bricks over forgetting a clipper card.
I'd encourage you, this next week, next time you find yourself beating yourself up over something, pause. Take a breath. Notice, gently and without judgement, that you're being hard on yourself.
Then, replace that harsh judgement with a more neutral or positive statement. Go ahead. Try it this week.