What do you hear when you hear the words “self compassion”?
When I talk to climbers about self-compassion, they often think that I’m telling them to go easy on themselves- to stop when they are having a hard time rather than putting in the effort to achieve their inspiring goals. They envision self-compassion as something that prompts us to sit on the couch rather than complete training sessions, back off of challenging sections when we start to get nervous, and avoid anything that might bring up stress.
In Fierce Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff shares that self-compassion is not something that makes us weak or less effective; in fact, it is a motivating force. Neff describes the two sides of self-compassion: tender self-compassion, which is offering acceptance and comfort when times are hard, and fierce self-compassion, which prompts us to self-advocate and gives us the energy to take care of our needs.
In the infographic below, the balance of tender and fierce self-compassion is illustrated by two “mama bears” who are caring for their young cubs. As you explore the infographic, consider how it might be a different understanding of self-compassion than what you’ve previously considered.
Infographic Link: KN_SYW_Fierce-map.pdf (self-compassion.org)
How might you find a balance of tender and fierce self-compassion in your climbing? In your life outside of climbing?
To learn more about fierce self-compassion and Neff’s work, visit Fierce Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff