The concept of self compassion has always felt a little foreign to me. The idea of it is lovely, but I have learned that practicing self-compassion is much easier said than done. Why do we naturally extend extra grace to others, but we struggle in applying the same love and attention to ourselves?

A friend of mine recently showed me a quote from Brené Brown that says, “The most compassionate people are also the most boundaried.”

To me, this acknowledges that there is a difference between having compassion for others and allowing others to take advantage of your compassion. Compassion is not accepting all behavior, especially if that means you allow others to walk all over you. 

By putting your boundaries and self-respect first, you expand your ability to extend compassion to others. Not only does this expansion apply to compassion for others, but it also applies to compassion for yourself. When you hold boundaries with yourself, you are practicing self-compassion. Examples of setting boundaries could include recognizing and defending your needs and limits, correcting your mental narrative to positive self talk, valuing your own opinion, and giving yourself emotional validation.

Think about how you treat someone you care about: with love, attention, and patience. You rally in support for them when they are hard on themselves and critical of their mistakes, you remind them of all their amazing and unique qualities that make them who they are, and you don’t measure their worth or the love you have for them on their success. This means you already have the blueprint, now it just needs to be flipped inward. 

When you set personal boundaries, you are advocating for yourself. To be frank, you are your number one priority and you are in charge of advocating for your needs. Self-compassion is being your own advocate. It’s acknowledging your needs and saying no. It’s showing up for yourself daily and reminding yourself that you are more than your successes and failures. 

Set the boundaries and watch self-compassion grow and thrive within you.