Who Else Wants To Be More Compassionate?
One of my all time favorite lines from a movie was from Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, many years ago –
“Exercise gives you endorphins! Endorphins make you happy! And happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!”
It was her (surprisingly valid) defense for a murder case that she was representing. We all laughed of course, but there’s proof in the pudding. It’s actually true!
Say’s The Mayo Clinic:
Personality disorders can significantly disrupt the lives of both the affected person and those who care about that person. Personality disorders may cause problems with relationships, work or school, and can lead to social isolation or alcohol or drug abuse.
Yep, heavy stuff – not really my realm of expertise.
Putting Self-Compassion First
However I do know a little about becoming a bit more compassionate – towards myself, and others. I’m by no means nice to people all the time, but as each year goes by I grow into becoming more self-aware.
Planning my happiness, and therefore how many fucks I’ll give (awesome book) about something is all dependent on how much care I’ve given to myself. Have I eaten well today? Had my workout, drank water, enjoyed some quality time with those I love? Taken a moment to put on makeup?
Practicing self-compassion throughout the day in mini-bites fills up my cup so that I’m a nicer person to be around. This especially helps when I feel super mad at a person or a situation. It allows me to keep my cool without saying something I’ll regret.
DISCLAIMER: Most of the time!
Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you
I’m pretty big on personal development. Always pushing myself to be better, in all areas of my life. Taking time for my workouts, and self-care is a priority.
NOTE: Honestly, I cringe when I tell Mom’s of young kids to ‘take time for you’ blah blah blah in my coaching practice, because I’ve been at their house at 6am! Running around trying to throw breakfasts together and pair the second sandal… quite the contrast from my mornings of zen, fitness and sipping tea.
It’s easier to make the most of my lifestyle design – and myself – when I’m in such a position.
My Light Bulb
Driving home from this mornings workout, I listened to How To Finish What You Start. This is a FABULOUS insight from Life Coach and Fitness Entrepreneur, Chalene Johnson. She’s truly one of my favorite people to follow at the moment, and I made time to listen to the full 40 minutes of it. Really, it was that good.
Chalene shared her struggles with writing quickly, and her upcoming book that she authored. Like me, she outsources a lot to her team – but what many people don’t realize is that sometimes this is far more trouble than it’s worth. As a creative person working on a project, the vision belongs to the person whose name is attached to it. And successful people often are perfectionists!
Therefore having someone else do something as soulful and meaningful as ‘ghost writing a book’ (in Chalene’s case) simply resulted in MONTHS of back-and-forth frustrations until finally she took control and did it herself. Her reason for not doing it herself was that she ‘wasn’t a good writer’ and was ‘super slow at writing’.
I thought to myself, damn, that’s totally what I’m going through right now! All of the business training that I’ve done promote building your team and delegating things that, well, you don’t want to do. But is it worth the headache? And by the time you write out all the instructions for them, or coach them on the task that needs to be done, what could have been accomplished in that time if you’d just done it yourself?
So Chalene took the book project back, this wonderful woman whom I absolutely admire. She then spent months smashing it out and – drum roll – finished it.
Yep, she had all the resources to not do something she didn’t want to do, but chose to do it anyways. I really raise my glass to her.
Becoming Better Every Day Is The Goal
Everything is figureoutable – Marie Forleo
The first step towards being more compassionate to others is most definitely being kinder to yourself. Compliment yourself!
Believe that you can do stuff, or at least figure out how to do stuff if you hunker down and give it some brain power. Chalene mentioned in her podcast that her WHY was the end goal – she’ll be creating something that she’s really proud of, that will benefit many people. And these are wise words that we can all integrate.
TIP: Set yourself little action steps that will lead you closer to the bigger goal, instead of being frustrated that you’re not achieving the actual goal yet. When you’re mad about that, you’ll be mad to anyone you contract to help you. But when you change the things that you can control, maybe tomorrow you’ll do it again. Start by changing what you can control, not the big lofty goals.
Why Compassion Fails
Until you can be kinder to yourself, there’s just no way you can authentically be nice to others. Fight the enemy within and don’t make excuses about why you’re not happy in your life, professionally or personally. When you’re annoyed with yourself, others will feel it.
Take ownership of your mistakes and know when you need to ‘log off’ from life. This could mean walking your dogs, going for a coffee, writing a gratitude journal, going for a kick ass workout. Refuel your whole self, mentally, spiritually and emotionally whenever you catch the opportunity. The people around you will benefit from you feeling less frazzled, less doubtful of yourself.
Compassion fails towards others when you feel like you’re not getting enough towards you. Truth bomb: it’s easier to be nice to a relaxed, easy-going person.