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Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem

Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem image
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Posted by Joseph on September 7, 2015
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Is self-compassion more important than self-esteem? It’s typical for human beings to become a replica of how we’re treated by the world and those closest to us. If we’re treated like a victim, it’s easy to make that the baseline of our self-worth. When we’re talked down upon, it’s easy to make ourselves become submissive to the world around us. Not until we find the courage to break free of these kinds of habits are we able to see our true value.

Most gay men today are too busy trying to find self-esteem they ignore the process of self-compassion. Without it we fall susceptible in comparing ourselves to others, relying on them to build our worth when really it should be defined by us. Self-esteem is an often misused term. Though it makes us feel good about ourselves, we forget where it all stems from: the world.
Self-esteem refers to the degree at which we evaluate ourselves positively, but rarely is it ever from our own analysis. It’s how we value ourselves based on comparisons with others and where we are in the food chain. Self-compassion, however, is not based on judgments or evaluations. It’s a way of relating to ourselves, focusing on interconnection rather than separateness. You no longer have to feel better than others to feel good about yourself.

There’s no such thing as perfect. As soon as that realization sets in, it opens a wide amount of space in our souls that allows us to forgive. Forgive ourselves for being overly critical and forgive the world for its judgmental habits. Above all, it teaches us to be present in the moment.
The human condition is notoriously imperfect. All it takes is being kind to ourselves when life doesn’t go our way instead of beating ourselves apart and becoming self-critical. To feel connected to others when we fail or suffer rather than feeling separate or isolated. Instead of suppressing our pain in an effort to maintain an image (which fuels our self-esteem), we ought to recognize and accept it as it arises.
It’s easy to become a reflection of what the world says we are because the focus is always from there-to-here, instead of from here-to-there or here-to-here. If it’s easy for us to become how the world treats us, imagine how easy it is to become how we view ourselves. When we’re consistently telling ourselves we’re not good enough, the question we ask ourselves should always be “Says who?” Chances are it will be stemmed from the outside world.

The repercussions of feeling invaluable are more than just outward. It’s an internal hell. According to research, self-compassion has shown to offer the same benefits as self-esteem without its downsides. In a large survey of over 3,000 people, it found self-compassion was associated with much more stable feelings of self-worth than self-esteem. Self-compassion was found to be less contingent on things like physical attractiveness or successful performances, while self-esteem had a strong association with narcissism.
We’ve become emotional sharks hovering over the weak-esteemed and devouring their energy to boost our own self-worth. But until you start feeling compassion for yourself and others, the dog-eat-dog world of emotional satisfaction will continue to rise. Everyone in this world is worthy of love and appreciation, and that includes you.
Focus not on building self-esteem fueled by a judgmental society, but concentrate on self-compassion. Whether you’re on top of the world or at the end of your ropes, learning to embrace yourself with kindness will always act as a springboard towards greater feelings. It’s an emotional safety net which should never be underrated. Everyone deserves respect, so start by respecting yourself.

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