Self-compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. Self-compassionate individuals experience greater psychological health than those who lack self-compassion.
Self-compassion is positively associated with life satisfaction, wisdom, happiness, optimism, curiosity, learning goals, social connectedness, personal responsibility, and emotional resilience.
At the same time, it is associated with a lower tendency for self-criticism, depression, anxiety, rumination, thought suppression, perfectionism, and disordered eating attitudes.
Low self-esteem correlates with poorer mental health outcomes across the board, increased likelihood of suicide attempts, and difficulty developing supportive social relationships.
Trying to raise low self-esteem artificially comes with its own problems, including tendencies toward narcissism, antisocial behavior, and avoiding challenging activities that may threaten one’s self-concept.
Instead of increasing self-esteem what we need to do is increase self-compassion as the context of all we do.
We have to accept our place as one amongst other Human beings, acknowledging that we all have self-doubt.
We all suffer, we all fail from time to time, but none of that means we can not live a life of meaning, purpose, and compassion for ourselves and others.
Self-kindness is the ability to extend forgiveness, empathy and patience to your own actions, thoughts and feelings.
Self-judgment, in contrast, is being hostile, demeaning and critical of yourself, rejecting your own actions, thoughts, feelings and worth.
This kind of self-treatment is relentless and the pain it causes can be as bad, or even worse, as the situation itself.
Buddhism claims that we are all connected and that seeing ourselves as separate from others is an illusion.
We all have a longing for connection and common humanity involves recognising this connection in others, particularly when it comes to our imperfections and weaknesses.
It involves forgiving yourself for being limited and imperfect, recognising that suffering and personal failure is part of the shared Human experience.