GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK: THE POWER OF SELFCOMPASSION
When we experience a setback at work, we tend to either become defensive and blame others, or berate ourselves. Neither response is helpful. Shirking responsibility by getting defensive may alleviate the sting of failure, but it comes at the expense of learning. Self-flagellation, on the other hand, may feel warranted in the moment, but it can lead to an inaccurately gloomy assessment of one’s potential, which undermines personal development.
Research shows that we should respond instead with self-compassion. People who do this tend to demonstrate three behaviors: First, they are kind rather than judgmental about their own failures and mistakes; second, they recognize that failures are a shared human experience; and third, they take a balanced approach to negative emotions when they stumble or fall short—they allow themselves to feel bad, but they don’t let negative emotions take over.
Self-compassion boosts performance by triggering the “growth mindset”—the belief that improvement is achievable through dedication and hard work. It also helps us connect with a more authentic self.