Monday, February 18, 2019
I was making a mistake at work over a period of time. On some level I was becoming aware of it bit by bit. My attention was suddenly drawn to it by someone in a tactful way. My motivation for the mistake was a good one, but I should have spotted that there were problems with it earlier than I did. I felt ashamed, and I thought I would probably do what I usually do and spend three days beating myself up about it, but I decided to try to do things differently this time and try to be kind to myself instead of beating myself up.
The first task was to work out exactly what was wrong with what I did. The next thing was to decide how bad of a mistake it was. I decided on a scale of one to ten, It rated a five or less. The next thing was to decide how to fix it. At first, I thought to modify it, and then I decided to cut it out. It’s easy. I just won’t do it any more.
Then I thought that nobody goes through life without making mistakes and I could use the experience to have a less judgmental attitude to myself and I can extend it to being less judgmental about other people’s mistakes too. I didn’t beat myself up for three days as I usually would - I felt uncomfortable for two days and then got over it (more or less).
On the third day, I did a bothersome chore for DH which is necessary because he can’t do it for himself (disability). I usually feel irritable when I do it, but this time, I didn’t. I wondered if taking a milder attitude to myself extended to him too and caused me to take a softer attitude to doing the chore.
I’ve been looking into the concept of self-compassion. Kristin Neff has written a book about it and done a TED talk. The concept didn’t originate with her but apparently she’s done the most research on it. It may be helpful for many of us on Spark who have problems with accepting our bodies and accepting ourselves.