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  • Writer's pictureAmy Smith

Why Can it be Hard to Develop Self-Compassion?

Many people find it hard to be self-compassionate because they have internalised critical and negative messages from their culture, society, or upbringing. These messages can create a belief that self-criticism is necessary for self-improvement, and that being self-compassionate is a sign of weakness or self-indulgence. We can develop a healthy and compassionate inner voice by experiencing love, care, support, praise and encouragement when growing up. If we did not receive these things sufficiently, our ability to be self-compassionate is greatly hindered. Other common reasons why people find it hard to be self-compassionate include:

1. Fear of vulnerability: Being self-compassionate requires being vulnerable and acknowledging our own limitations and imperfections. For many people, this can be uncomfortable and scary.

2. Negative self-talk: We often have an inner critic that tells us we are not good enough, which can make it hard to practice self-compassion.

3. Lack of awareness: Many people are not even aware that self-compassion is an option, and may not understand the benefits of being kind to themselves.

4. Fear of change: Self-compassion requires a change in mindset, and for some people, this can be difficult to achieve. It can feel easier to stick with old patterns of self-criticism and negativity than to embrace a more compassionate approach.

5. Guilt or shame: Some people may feel that they don't deserve self-compassion or kindness, especially if they have made mistakes in the past or have a history of trauma or abuse.

Remember, practicing self-compassion is a process that takes time and effort. It's normal to encounter resistance or find it hard at first. However, with continued practice and patience, self-compassion can become a natural and positive habit that improves mental and emotional well-being.

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