Make Self-Compassion Your New Success Metric by Laura S. Scott PCC ELI-MP CPDFA
As an executive coach, I’m seeing the toll that the stress of the pandemic and remote working is taking on my clients, and it has me very concerned.
Most of my clients are what could be described as high achievers. Some are self-described perfectionists. Not surprising, given the business disruptions, many of these leaders have failed to meet their success metrics in 2020 and they are profoundly disappointed, or disheartened, even though the so-called “failure” is no fault of their own.
In the effort to move the needle, claim some success, and meet some random metrics, these leaders are pushing themselves beyond the limits of their endurance and their capacity. When our conversation moves to delegation, I hear: “My leadership team is so stressed and overburdened I can’t possibly ask them to do another thing!” So instead, they take it upon themselves to do that extra work, hoping that it will be the one thing that will make the difference and turn their ship around.
I understand and applaud them for their initiative and the compassion they are showing their team, and then I ask them if they could to do something else — I ask them if they can extend the same compassion to themselves? Their response is… silence.
It’s a big ask, I know. Self compassion has never been easy for me, either. When a dinner guest accidentally drops a wine glass, I immediately say, “Don’t worry, give me a second to sweep this up, and let’s pour another glass of wine!” But when I do the same thing, I curse at myself, or berate myself for being clumsy.
Not anymore. At some point a few months ago I decided to cut myself some slack and practice self compassion. It’s made a world of difference for me. It’s made me feel successful. I’ve turned self compassion into a success metric. Here are some of my milestones:
- An extra hour of sleep under a weighted blanket.
- At least 30 minutes of exercise EVERY DAY!
- No skipped lunches.
- Extra time in a hot bath or shower.
- Phone calls with friends, just because…
- A day a month monitoring self judgments, without judging myself about all the self judgments.
- Finding ways to make a difference in people’s lives versus the balance sheet.
- Looking at my few extra pounds as reserves just in case I get sick and need them later.
- Understanding I do make a difference in my friends and families lives, even remotely.
- Remembering that there are no mistakes, only course corrections.
Want to feel successful? Create your own list of milestones for self compassion. Hold yourself accountable. See what it feels like to extend your compassion to yourself.
Cutting yourself some slack doesn’t turn you into a slacker. Instead, it turns you into a healthy, fully functioning, and energized person; the kind of person that can successfully navigate their way out of a pandemic.
Laura S. Scott PCC, ELI-MP, CPDFA