Sit back and enjoy the reading of our Expand member Hanna Delby’s insight about psychology & self-compassion.
Hanna Delby is a licensed psychologist and owner of Delby Psykologi. Her area of expertise is self-compassion and helping clients find strategies for dealing with performance anxiety, stress and self-criticism. She also writes columns about psychology for Bonnier News and offers workshops on self-compassion. Together with Tina de Plaa, she is hosting the podcast Lyckopusslet.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Self-compassion – an important piece of the puzzle to succeed as an entrepreneur!
Would you like to be braver, more creative and have a safety net that catches you when you encounter challenges? And would you like to feel more confident in yourself and become better at self-care? Then self-compassion is for you!
Self-compassion means treating yourself with the same kindness, understanding and warmth that you show others. Life as an entrepreneur includes highs and lows and everything in between and self-compassion can be used to deal with the difficulties we encounter along the way. Research shows that self-compassion increases resilience and makes us less vulnerable to self-criticism, stress and performance anxiety. It also boosts innovation, makes us less afraid of failure and helps us learn more from our mistakes. Self-compassion is simply a valuable friend to have by your side if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur!
And speaking of having a friend by your side, the first part of self-compassion is all about friendship – more specifically, being your own best friend!
By showing yourself the same kindness you would show a close friend, we practice not letting self-criticism and rumination take over. Instead of beting our selves up we use warmth, understanding and encouragement as a response to difficulties and failure.
Because if it was your best friend who told you that she had a rough day and maybe made a mistake or encountered a difficult challenge, you most likely would not respond by saying that the friend was worthless, that she should have done better, and that everything will probably go to shit now. Instead, you would probably have been understanding, supportive and perhaps encouraged the friend to do something extra kind and caring for herself to try to think about something else.
Another important part of practicing self-compassion is the reminder that we are not alone and that the experiences we have are universal and something we share with many others at this very moment. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely and it’s easy to get caught up in the feeling that everyone else is doing much better, that we are the only ones struggling and facing challenges. But if we instead practice seeing that it is human to feel exactly the way we do and that others are actually feeling the same right now, the feeling of loneliness and isolation decreases. This doesn’t take away difficult feelings, but it can make it easier to deal with them, especially if we combine it with giving ourselves friendly advice, encouragement and warmth.
By using the components of being kind to ourselves and seeing our experiences as universal and understandable, you can reframe you self talk. A self-compassionate way to talk to yourself is to trade self-criticism for understanding and to remind yourself that no one is perfect, that everyone makes mistakes and that’s okay, because we are only human! This type of self talk makes it easier to learn from one’s mistakes, rather than blaming oneself, and can make us dare to try again instead of getting stuck in the fear of failure.
Self-compassion is also all about self-care and about prioritizing your needs and creating conditions for long-term sustainability. Working too much and constantly trying to put in another gear and doing more and better are not really behaviors that reflect kindness and care. And that is probably not what you would encourage a friend to do. Because if we push ourselves too hard or work too much, even with fun things that we love, it will not last over time. Entrepreneurship is a marathon and no one can sprint all the way.
In order to be able to go all the way, balance is needed, where we shift between work and recovery and adjust the pace to our ability and external circumstances. Sometimes we need extra rest and to pause completely. In the same way that we schedule jobs and meetings, we can practice scheduling self-care. Where we do things that have nothing to do with performance, but where we practice mindfulness by being present in social activities, alone time at home or something else entirely. Self-care is exactly what you decide it is, whether it’s having a cup of tea, doing a puzzle or going for a walk.
With self-compassion, you have a supportive cheerleader and a caring friend by your side, through thick and thin. And that is a winning strategy to succeed in your career!
Self-compassion can be a difficult skill to strengthen and sometimes you need help along the way.
So if you wish to be more confident in yourself and want to find effective strategies for dealing with stress and self-criticism, you are most welcome to contact Delby Psykologi.