Learn to Accept and Move on Through Self Compassion

Vanessa Gonzalez
April 3, 2023

We are constantly told that we need to love ourselves. We need to show ourselves compassion. Most people can provide compassion toward others, but it is challenging to treat the same love and acceptance towards themselves. However, what does that really mean?


Believe it or not, self-compassion and self-love are two separate concepts. However, both allow someone to turn understanding, acceptance, and love toward themselves. Unfortunately, there's also a lot of stigma around self-love and compassion, and many believe you are being selfish or self-indulgent. However, providing yourself with that same love and attention can help relieve many mental health concerns.  


Self-Compassion Vs Self-Love


·   Self-compassion: Being kind to yourself when you are going through a difficult time. You treat yourself the same way as you would a friend. You validate them, empathize with them, and offer kindness.

·   Self-love: valuing yourself as a person who is worthy of that compassion, love, and respect. Self-love is different from self-compassion in that self-love needs to be built. You can show yourself self-compassion without truly loving yourself. These concepts are very different from self-esteem. Self-esteem focuses on how we view ourselves, usually through external achievements and factors – or our self-worth. 



Whereas self-compassion is not based on our self-evaluations. Self-compassion focuses away from having to be the best versus simply accepting who you are. It helps us recognize that all of us, including you, are deserving of love. 


What Does Self Compassion Do?


         Many people struggle when going through a difficult time. They can experience many feelings toward themselves, such as shaming themselves for what they did and feeling guilt for what they didn't do, which can lead to anxiety or depression and many other issues. However, self-compassion allows people to accept what has happened and what it is and move on. We can learn from our mistakes through self-compassion and help make decisions moving forward.  


Self-compassion in therapy


Many therapists utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to reframe uncompassionate thoughts and figure out what contributed to the lack of self-compassion in the past. In therapy, you will explore what compassion means and that it is not being selfish. By understanding self-compassion, we can develop better compassion toward ourselves. There is also Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which teaches the individual to understand the self. Its goal is to see themselves separately from the negative thoughts they have and understand that you are not your thoughts through mindfulness. By being mindful of your thoughts and how they make you feel, you can accept your mistakes and be kind to yourself.


Tools for Self-Compassion:

·   Maintain a self-care routine

·   You are not your thoughts

·   Talk to yourself like you would a friend

·   Journal your thoughts

·   Remember your own humanity – humans are flawed

·   Write a letter to yourself to be kind


Self-compassion expert Kristin Neff has a plethora of tools and exercises that can easily be found online and through her resources. Remember, you are deserving of love and acceptance. Besides the fact that self-love and self-compassion make us feel good, there are many other benefits it brings. Remember, you are deserving of love.