Self-Compassion: What it Is & How to Get More of It

By Steve Austin | catching your breath

Dec 03

According to a recent survey I sent out, my Tribe really struggles with shame and self-compassion. 32.5% of people who responded to my survey said their biggest need was more teaching around those two topics.

I struggled with self-compassion too, for a long time.

Usually, it stems from a lack of self-acceptance and an excess of shame and negativity.

We typically treat others well but struggle to treat ourselves the same way.

But can I tell you something? You can’t genuinely treat people well if you aren’t doing the same for yourself. Sure, maybe you can pretend for a little bit, But as people get to know you better, they’ll be able to see the shield you create for yourself. (One of the most significant components of my new program, 90 Days of Calm, focuses on self-compassion and self-acceptance. You can get all the details at 90DaysofCalm.com today.)

Here’s the thing: learning to love yourself isn’t easy at first. But as you begin to affirm yourself, you will start to feel better and better about who you already are.

Why Are We So Hard on Ourselves?

I think the saddest truth is this: we live in a negative world.

Turn on the news for any major metropolitan area and you will see daily stories of murder, abuse, and any other unthinkable tragedy. Just look at the gun violence and mass shootings we’re witnessing on a weekly basis, it seems.

Several years ago, a television station tried to broadcast only good news. The show was a flop. People expect news to be bad. We crave that open story loop (as Donald Miller calls it) and we want to know what happens to the “bad guys”.

I think this is one of the main reasons why we’re so hard on ourselves. Society has trained us to think with a negative spin. Our parents taught us to be cautious, which we interpreted as DON’T TRUST ANYONE. Sadly, it’s an immediate bias any time we meet someone new.

We can also be hard on ourselves because we fear the outcome if we aren’t. If we get our hopes up too high, we’ll be shattered when we’re wrong.

You do things at work because if you don’t, you fear that you’re boss will come down hard on you. Maybe even publicly. And nobody wants that kind of humiliation.

Any time I start processing thoughts around self-compassion, I hear the voice of my old buddy, Rev. Ed Bacon. It’s all about fear and love, Ed would say. Our fears are STRONG. And those fears are CENTRAL to how many of us were raised.

I’m not saying our parents were “wrong” or “bad” for raising us like this. They just did what they could with what they had. They were raising us the way their parents taught them.

Even in school, if you do something that other kids don’t like, you’re probably going to take some heat for it. Maybe they’ll give you verbal backlash – they’ll make fun of you. They’ll bully you. Or it might even turn physical.  Unless you are the alpha personality, school can be a fearful, painful experience.

So maybe you’re sitting there thinking, “Is there a way to reverse this process and stop being so hard on ourselves?”

I thought you’d never ask!

Click here to listen to the final episode of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast – it’s 30 minutes of my thoughts on self-compassion: what it is and how to get more of it..

Introducing – Catching Your Breath: The Podcast

I’ve been working behind the scenes the past couple of months, rebuilding and rebooting what will become “Catching Your Breath: The Podcast”. It’s coming in January. I hope you’re as excited as I AM!

So, why the change?

In a word: clarity.

As I went through the process of writing Catching Your Breath, my new book, I slowly but surely became as clear as I’ve ever been on who I am, what I believe, and what I want to do with my life.

The short and sweet of it is this:

  • I’m a human.

  • I believe all people matter.

  • I want to spend my life helping others embrace the sacred journey from chaos to calm.

So, with the launch of “Catching Your Breath: The Podcast,” you can expect 30-minute episodes on self-help, self-compassion, and self-care. I’m going to take the principles from the book and make them as practical and action-oriented as possible for people just like you, living an extraordinary, ordinary life. I want to teach you how to cultivate calm in your everyday life. Think of it as a weekly breath of fresh air.

How does that sound?

And click below to listen to the introductory episode of Catching Your Breath: The Podcast (it’s only 8 minutes long).


THE COUNTDOWN IS ON! Catching Your Breath: The Podcast #comingsoon!



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About the Author

Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.

  • Dulcinea says:

    This post ministered to me a great deal! Thank you for writing this.

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