Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy. We set high performance standards for ourselves – which is great, but then beat ourselves up when we do not meet them – not so great.
Recent research, as reported in Harvard Business Review*, shows that we should instead treat ourselves with “self-compassion.” This includes:
*Be kind rather than judgmental with ourselves about failures and mistakes. Imagine the positive perspective you would give to a good friend regarding the setback.
*Recognize that failures are a shared human experience. Yes, in fact, you are human and no one expects you to be Superman or Wonder Woman.
*Take a balanced approach to negative emotions. If you want to feel bad for a while about a miscue, fine. But move on and don’t let the negative emotions take over. It’s the dwelling on the negative that is a problem.
It is vital that we shift our focus from feeling bad about the mistake, and move on to learning from it. Research shows that people who practice self-compassion have a higher motivation to improve.
The application of self-compassion triggers a “growth mindset” – continuous improvement and professional development. Truly, we learn much more from setbacks than we do from getting everything right all the time.
So – give yourself a break! No one is perfect. By moving past a setback and learning from it we will improve our leadership capabilities and make even more of a Mission Impact.
*“Give Yourself a Break: The Power of Self-Compassion,” Chen, S., Harvard Business Review, September-October, 2018, pp. 116 – 123.