Let's say your presentation bombs, the boss criticises your work or you say something really embarrassing.

Who is in your ear? Is it a supportive friend reassuring you, or a contemptuous critic shouting, 'How could you be so stupid?'

Be kind to yourself

It's a cliche most people ignore. We fear that we'll become self-indulgent, too tolerant of our mistakes and lazy. The research shows that's wrong.

Who would motivate you more long-term: a friend offering acceptance and encouragement, or a sergeant major bawling you out for every lapse?

Self-compassion and and motivation

What if the voice of your compassionate friend were to suggest some healthy thinking? Maybe:

'Just ignore the embarassment and move on'
'Your mistakes don't define you'

Could your friend add some simple strategies? Perhaps:

'Try again tomorrow' 
'How about taking a night class to catch up?'

We don't need criticism to stay motivated - especially constant undermining self-criticism. Self-compassion checks out much better. Many studies link it with more motivation, better relationships, less stress and less depression.

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