The concept behind Respect, an old song that Aretha Franklin made popular, comes to mind when considering self-compassion and success. The idea is that if you want others to respect you, you need to respect yourself. But before you can really even respect yourself, you need to have some self-compassion.
1. Leads to Resolving 'False Guilt' and Self-Sabotage
Many people who have been deeply wounded in life have a very difficult time with self-respect and self-compassion. Sometimes wounded people blame other people, but there are plenty of circumstances in which people blame themselves. People who have been abused tend to blame themselves, and often have the mentality that they deserved the abuse, which of course isn’t true. This is often referred to as "false guilt" by those in the mental health field.
Those who have lost a loved one also often blame themselves for that loved one’s death. It often takes on the form of, "I should have done this," or "If I had done that," or something along those lines. Soul wounds usually cause people to be deeply confused. So, it’s necessary to get healed of these soul wounds before self-compassion and self-respect can truly be experienced, and to some extent, everyone has soul wounds. Some are just more profound than others. The more healing we experience, the better our chances of experiencing some success in life because our soul wounds can cause us to self- sabotage our success due to feelings of being undeserving of it, and it is often on a subconscious level.
2. You Refuse to Harbor a Victim Mentality
It can be easy to get caught up in a victim mentality when you have soul wounds. Another way that this often gets expressed is that people with unhealed soul wounds often think that their past is going to determine their future, or in some cases whereby they’ve never had a chance to see what a better life looks like, they don’t know where to turn to break out of unhealthy cycles and patterns of thought. They simply don’t have the wisdom and knowledge necessary to work toward redeeming their future. You must believe that it’s even possible to become successful before you will explore what you need to do to make that happen. Self-compassion and self-respect will help to propel the desire to discover how success can happen, and the incentive to work toward a better quality of life.
3. Choosing Healing Over Bitterness Will Keep You Healthy
When we’re going through challenging circumstances, we can choose one of two options: we can become bitter over it, or we can become a healer because of it. People who choose the path of bitterness will eventually lash out and hurt other people, and the cycle is never broken. In fact, as they hurt others, they hurt themselves even more deeply and block themselves even more profoundly from ever experiencing self-compassion and self-respect- which are foundational in helping people to experience feeling successful. There is also medical evidence that bitterness will cause a person to become physically ill. Self-compassion will motivate you to take steps to protect your mental and physical health so that you can take the steps necessary for becoming successful. If you happen to be a person of faith, this often makes it easier to choose the path of being a healer.
4. Leads to Success in Relationships
Not only does choosing healing over bitterness help to cultivate self-compassion and self-respect, but it will also lead to an ability to care about and love others. If you don’t have self-compassion, you can’t have compassion for others. In addition, a lack of self-compassion will also hinder a marriage relationship. Our ability to have any depth of compassion toward others begins with our ability to have self-compassion and self-respect. Most people are familiar with the old golden rule, "Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you." This is rooted in self-compassion and self-respect. Under normal circumstances, treating others the way we want to be treated should be mutual and will lead to success in relationships.
5. Leads to the Success of Personal Fulfillment
Self-compassion will help you to determine what success means for you personally and directly impact your ability to be self-motivated toward it. You’re not going to be truly concerned about your goals for the future if you don’t have self-compassion or self-respect because those deficits prevent you from having any type of self-motivation, whether it’s about climbing the corporate ladder to the top, being able to stay home with the kids while they’re school-age, owing certain items, or something else. Another reason why soul wounds usually block self-compassion and success, is because there is more of a focus on the pain and perhaps hurtful things that have been said by influential people, rather than on achieving. If there is some resolution to these things and a level of success is achieved, unhealed soul wounds and bitterness will make success feel empty. That’s why many sports figures and entertainment stars who gain media attention often end up doing crazy things and even end up in legal trouble.
How self-compassionate are you? Do you think you can improve your self-compassion and eventually lead to your success? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section below.