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There is a widespread assumption that self-esteem is one of the most important things a person can cultivate. After all, lack of self-esteem can block you from seeing your true potential, stop you from taking risks, and undermine your quality of life. However, there just might be something in the neighborhood that’s even more important—self-compassion.
Dr. Kristen Neff is an expert on self-compassion, and this TEDx talk revolves around her lucid description of just what it is and why it matters. A professor at the University of Texas, she has also designed a two-month course that teaches the skills required to develop self-compassion, so she is uniquely qualified to tell you exactly why you need more of this special ingredient in your life.
As she explains, self-compassion is not about comparing yourself to other people and feeling good if you’re better or bad if you’re “worse.” Instead, it focuses on loving and accepting yourself for who you are, all the while knowing that you have weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
She reveals that her research strongly suggests a positive connection between higher levels of self-compassion and better mental health, greater willingness to take responsibility, more enjoyable relationships and increased overall life satisfaction.
As Dr. Neff points out, self-compassion doesn’t just change how you see and feel about yourself—it opens the door to being kinder to others, and to forming deeper emotional connections. So, watch the video, start to understand the three key components of self- compassion, and begin to take the wonderfully affirming steps towards being a kinder, more authentic person.