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Self-compassion: Identifying what we really want

Are there ways that you use self criticism as a motivator? Do you think being hard on yourself will help you change? Psychologist Kobie Allison from Kobie Allison Psychology leads us through a five-minute meditation to put us on a different path. Grab a quiet moment and some headphones and go with her on this.

This exercise is called Identifying What We Really Want.

Think about the ways that you use self criticism as a motivator. Is there any personal trait that you criticize yourself for having? Too overweight? Too lazy? Too impulsive, et cetera? Because you think being hard on yourself will help you change.

If so, first try to get in touch with the emotional pain that your self criticism causes, giving yourself compassion for the experience of feeling so judged.

Next, see if you can think of a kinder, more caring way to motivate yourself to make a change if needed.

What language would a wise and nurturing friend, parent, teacher or mentor use to gently point out how your behavior is unproductive while simultaneously encouraging you to do something different?

What is the most supportive message you can think of that’s in line with your underlying wish to be healthy and happy?

Every time you catch yourself being judgemental about your unwanted trait in the future, first notice the pain of your self judgment and give yourself compassion.

Then try to reframe your inner dialogue so that it is more encouraging and supportive.

Remember, whenever you really want to motivate yourself, love is more powerful than fear.

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