When You Make a Mistake, Forgive Yourself

If a friend tells you about an ordeal they’re facing or a mistake they’ve made, how do you typically respond? In all likelihood, you offer kindness and comfort. But how do you treat yourself when you make a big mistake? You’re probably much tougher — springing to self-criticism, hiding in embarrassment, or ruminating on your perceived shortcomings. The next time you face a setback, try taking a self-compassion break. As soon as you notice that you’re upset or under stress, see if you can locate where the emotional discomfort resides your body. Where do you feel it the most? Then admit to yourself, “This is hard” or “Other people feel this way too.” If you’re having trouble finding the right language, it can help to imagine what you might say to a close friend struggling with the same issue. Can you say something similar to yourself, exhibiting the same kindness?