Boost Work Performance with Self-Compassion

Boost Work Performance with Self-Compassion

As a mindfulness & wellness firm, we work with a lot of corporate leaders who are convinced that being hard on themselves will yield better results. 

These leaders (like many people) are afraid that self-compassion is akin to self-indulgence.

As self-compassion researcher and author Kristin Neff writes, “The number-one reason people give for why they aren’t more self-compassionate is the fear that they will be too easy on themselves. Without constant self-criticism to spur myself on, people worry, won’t I just skip work, eat three tubs of ice cream and watch Oprah reruns all day?”

Self Criticism Is Not The Answer

Here's what our clients (and you) may not know: research shows self-criticism actually detracts from performance. A self-critical attitude leads to heightened levels of depression and anxiety, lower self-confidence, and an increased fear of failure. 

Often times we are willing to be understanding, patient, and supportive with another person, but it can be difficult to offer the same support to ourselves when we are going through a difficult time.

How Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Are Related

Enter mindful self-compassion, a research-backed practice that can improve performance and overall well-being. Studies show that self-compassion supports intrinsic motivation, reduces fear of failure, and lowers levels of anxiety.

Self-compassion is also strongly linked to emotional intelligence, a key workplace and personal skill which entails the ability to experience one’s feelings with clarity and to repair and regulate negative mood states.

Key Steps To Mindful Self-Compassion

The next time you're overwhelmed by the negative voices in your head, try the practice of mindful self-compassion in three key steps:

  • Mindfulness: Pause and bring awareness to an experience of challenge. Say to yourself, "This is a moment of struggle."
  • Common Humanity: Remember that you’re not alone – others are going through similar challenges. Say to yourself, "This struggle is part of being human."
  • Self-Kindness: Offer yourself warmth, compassion, and kindness. Say to yourself, "I'm sorry for your struggle."

How To Perform Better At Work

Not only does this practice of self-compassion feel better than beating yourself up, research shows it actually helps you perform better as well!

Self-criticism and the resulting fear and anxiety can drain your energy and prevent you from reaching your goals. Opening up to the practice of self-compassion is the gateway to peak performance and overall wellbeing.

If you’re looking for more mindfulness tips and techniques for greater ease, focus and well-being, work with Mastermind to build your own mindful community in the workplace! Contact us to learn how to bring research-backed mental wellness to your team.

Want to experience Mastermind, and our CEO, Dorsey Standish, in action?

Download our 1-minute mindful work break to use for yourself and with your employees.