The relentless pursuit of high self-esteem has become a virtual religion. Our ultra-competitive culture tells us we need to be constantly above average to feel good about ourselves, but there is always someone more attractive, successful, or intelligent than we are. And even when we do manage to grab hold of high self-esteem for a brief moment, we can’t seem to keep it. Our sense of self-worth goes up and down like a ping-pong ball, rising and falling in lock-step with our latest success or failure.
There’s an alternative and the research by Dr. Kristin Neff and others indicate that people who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly judge themselves. When a toddler starts to learn to walk and falls down, we clap. When was the last time your rewarded yourself for making a mistake?
Using research, stories, exercises and humor, Dr. Neff explains how to heal destructive emotional patterns in her new book “Self-Compassion” so that you can be healthier, happier, and more effective. Brene Brown calls the book, “A transformative read.”