Compassion Begins with You

One of my favorite components of the Well-Being Coaching Program is celebrating the Champions and Coaches at Graduation after fulfilling the requirements for certification. It is a special day to recognize their hard work in developing Self-Leadership, reveal the results of their assessments, and hear their individual stories about what the program meant to them. Laughter and tears were shared as we celebrated the Graduates at Cone Health last month.

As you know, Self-Leadership, the foundation for the Well-Being Coaching Program is supported by the daily practices of CPR, Compassion, Presence, and Recovery. All are important and everyone experiences them a little differently. Here are a few perspectives on Compassion from the Graduates:

I learned the most during our focus on compassion. I strive for perfection and when I inevitably fall short, I disappoint myself. I learned how destructive perfectionism can be and does nothing but raise stress and anxiety. I knew I needed to be more realistic with my expectations and now know when we are kinder to ourselves, we make better decisions.

I never equated compassion and kindness as something to do for myself. I learned compassion is caring for myself mentally, spiritually, and physically and allowing myself to feel empowered personally and professionally. It’s also understanding that I’m human and will make decisions not aligned with my expected outcomes. Compassion is the act of asking for help and saying I can’t help.

Self-compassion, knowing who I am, empowers myself so I can empower others. To incorporate compassion daily, I had a goal to “get away” and have moments to think, invite quietness, and reflection. This involved taking 30 minutes to walk or sit quietly away from the department. While I had to move past the personal guilt of taking this time, I was refreshed and re-energized once completed. 

I always thought that compassion was about how you felt toward other people, not yourself. I hold myself to a higher standard than others, am very hard on myself, beat myself up when things don’t go right, and question my decisions, (all the stuff I tell other people not to do). This program helped me overcome some of the unrealistic expectations I have for myself.

Compassion is how we connect, first with ourselves and then with others. While the compassion practices are experienced a little differently by everyone, they empower you to feel better about yourself. Compassion begins with you.

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