Self-compassion is NECESSARY to motivate yourself!

Mar 08, 2021

 The question is, can you love yourself and still want to make health changes? 

My belief is that you can absolutely have self-love and health goals to adjust simultaneously!

And actually, throughout my coaching experience, I’ve found that in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle long-term you NEED to have self-love.

My philosophy is, if you’re not loving and appreciating yourself at all stages (yes, even your current stage), how do you expect to motivate yourself to make changes in the first place?! 

Cultivating self-compassion will actually help you achieve your health goals! 

They go hand-in-hand.

Self-compassion is defined as, “a self-attitude that involves treating oneself with warmth and understanding in difficult times, and recognizing that making mistakes is part of being human” (Neff, 2003).

Studies have shown that greater self-compassion is associated with positivity, optimism, happiness, lower prevalence of anxiety and depression.

Bonus: it’s also associated with better romantic relationship functioning (Baker & McNulty, 2011)! 

Some people believe that self-compassion might lead to less self-improvement because it might create complacency, making people “lazy.” The misconception is that if people give themselves too much slack or “grace,” they won’t end up taking the action steps necessary to achieve their goals...

However, Breines & Chen (2012) hypothesized that self-compassion could actually facilitate greater self-improvement across 4 different experiments.

And they found that the participants that practiced self-compassion…

  1. Had greater motivation to make amends and avoid repeating a recent moral transgression
  2. Spend more time studying for a difficult test following an initial failure
  3. Exhibited a greater likelihood to initiate contact with those who seem better off than themselves (which reflects self-improvement motives) after reflecting on a personal weakness
  4. Reported greater motivation to change that weakness

These findings suggest that taking an accepting approach to personal failure may make people more motivated to improve themselves (Breines & Chen, 2012).

Self-compassion also helps us create balance! 

Balance looks like... 

  1. Nourishing yourself, not punishing yourself! 
  2. Working out for stress relief, not to burn calories! 
  3. Not restricting yourself! 
  4. Giving yourself grace and rest days!  
  5. Eating with intention! 

So y’all, the key takeaway is that we need to give ourselves grace!

It’s healthy to show yourself compassion.

It will NOT make you lazy!

It will actually take you out of that "all-or-nothing, perfectionist-or-failure" mindset and actually motivate you to get to your goals and improve yourself.

Follow me on Instagram & let me know what goals you’re working on!

If you need to start prioritizing yourself, CLICK HERE TO JOIN MY FREE COMMUNITY! It's for empowered women to get motivated on their health journey, by learning about nutrition, exercise, and SUSTAINABLE healthy and happy living, alongside an inspiring and connected community!

References:  Baker, L. R., McNulty, J. K. (2011). Self-compassion and relationship maintenance: The moderating roles of conscientiousness and gender. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 853-873.

Breines, J. G., & Chen, S. (2012). Self-Compassion Increases Self-Improvement Motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(9), 1133–1143. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167212445599

Neff, K. D. (2003a). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and Identity, 2, 85-102.

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